HC Deb 18 November 1997 vol 301 cc122-3W
14. Mr. Dafis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the United Kingdom Government's main objectives at the Kyoto climate change conference. [14854]

Angela Eagle

In Kyoto our main objective will be to secure agreement by developed countries to a system of legally binding targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emission. The EU has proposed reductions to at least 7.5 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2005 and 15 per cent. below by 2010. We also want developing countries' agreement that over time they will have to play an increasing role in tackling climate change.

Mr. Llew Smith

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on the outcome of the meeting of advanced industrial states in Japan on preparations for the Kyoto Conference on climate change; and if he will place in the Library copies of unrestricted documents circulated at the meeting by(a) the United Kingdom and (b) other participants. [14748]

Mr. Prescott

[holding answer 10 November 1997]I chaired the meeting of developed countries on Saturday 8 November, which was attended by representatives from Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, the USA, the European Community, and by my right hon. Friend the Minister for the Environment on behalf of the UK.

We had an excellent and constructive discussion, with some positive movement on a number of issues. For example, we reached agreement that targets should be set in terms of budget periods; and three countries indicated that they would shortly be proposing targets. But even more importantly, I was convinced of the strong political will to ensure a successful outcome at Kyoto. We left the meeting with a much better understanding of each others' positions and I urged all colleagues to build on this spirit of co-operation and to resolve the key outstanding issues in the few weeks ahead. For my part, I met the Vice-President of the USA in Washington on my way to Tokyo and I shall be visiting Australia, New Zealand and India shortly. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, the Minister for the Environment and other colleagues will also be visiting Hungary, Poland, Mexico, South Korea, Japan and a number of European capitals in the run-up to Kyoto.

As Chair I made a personal report of the meeting of developed countries, a copy of which I have placed in the Library. Other documents tabled by Ministers were of a private nature, intended to ensure a frank discussion.

The Japanese Environment Minister, Mr. Ohki, chaired a meeting on Sunday 9 November at which we were joined by colleagues from a number of developing countries: Argentina, Brazil, Korea, Indonesia, Mexico, Samoa and Tanzania. Again, the meeting was both constructive and positive.