§ Mr. Meale
[holding answer 14 December 19981: On 26 October 1998, the Government published a consultation paper on climate change. The paper describes progress to date in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the UK and sets out a variety of policy options for meeting our climate change targets. It covers both the UK's legally binding target from Kyoto of a 12.5 per cent. reduction in a basket of six greenhouse gases by 2008–2012 and our domestic goal of a 20 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010. Following the consultation period, we will develop and consult on a new UK climate change programme.
Action has already been taken to reduce the UK's emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, the Government have introduced their integrated transport policy; we have increased the fuel duty escalator to an average of 6 per cent. above inflation per year; the European car industry has negotiated a voluntary agreement to reduce emissions of CO, from new cars by an average of 25 per cent.; Lord Marshall has reported on the scope for using economic instruments to improve business's use of energy; we have launched a review of what would be necessary and practicable to deliver 10 per cent. of electricity demand from renewable sources by 2010; and we have increased resources for energy efficiency.