HC Deb 10 June 1997 vol 295 cc404-5W
Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans he has to ensure that the proposed reduction in the rate of VAT on domestic fuel does not lead to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. [2082]

Ms Angela Eagle

Protection from the effects of global warming and the development of sustainable environmental policies cannot proceed in isolation from considerations of social equity.

We estimate that the reduction in VAT on domestic fuel to 5 per cent. will result in an annual increase in carbon dioxide emissions of about 0.24 million tonnes of carbon by 2010, (about 0.15 per cent. of current carbon dioxide emissions). We shall take account of this effect in developing the programme to meet our target to reduce total carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent. by 2010.

We are developing policy options which will contribute towards our 2010 target and which will include improvements in domestic and industrial energy efficiency, an integrated transport policy to tackle the projected growth in emissions from road transport, and an increase in the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources and combined heat and power schemes.