HC Deb 07 May 1999 vol 330 cc475-6W
Mr. Gareth R. Thomas

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will set out the steps and timescale the Government are working to in developing a national emissions trading scheme; and if he will make a statement. [82641]

Mr. Meacher

The Government fully recognise the potential benefits of a national carbon emissions trading scheme, particularly in allowing business to deliver greenhouse gas reductions as cost effectively as possible, and in preparing business for any international emissions trading scheme established under the Kyoto Protocol. We are therefore taking forward the recommendation made by Lord Marshall in his report on "Economic Instruments and the Business Use of Energy", that the Government should consider a pilot trading scheme.

Development of an effective pilot trading scheme must be business-led, but with the active involvement of, and a clear steer from Government. We are therefore working with the CBI and ACBE (the Advisory Committee on Business and the Environment) to develop the pilot scheme. The next step is for the CBI and ACBE to call a meeting of interested Chief Executives and senior government officials, to commit to a timetable and resources for developing the pilot. The intention is for this meeting to take place in late June or early July, subject to availability.