HC Deb 03 July 2000 vol 353 cc84-5W
Mr. Pollard

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the impact of the Draft Programme on Climate Change on the additional costs which would fall on (a) air conditioning manufacturers and (b) consumers in the United Kingdom from a ban on the use of HFCs; and if he will make a statement on the draft programme's impact on the international competitiveness of UK air conditioning manufacturing. [128039]

Mr. Meacher

No assessment has been made of the additional costs that would fall on air conditioning manufacturers and consumers from a ban on the use of HFCs because the Government have not proposed such a ban.

The draft climate change programme includes a policy statement on HFCs that sends a clear signal to industry and users not to use HFCs where more environmentally acceptable, safe, technically feasible and cost-effective alternatives exist. At the same time we recognise that HFCs are necessary to replace ozone-depleting substances in some applications, and that HFC emissions reduction strategies should not undermine commitments to phase out ozone-depleting substances under the Montreal Protocol.

The Government have made it clear that they aim to put in place a climate change programme that safeguards and enhances UK competitiveness. We recognise the concern business has expressed about the implications of action on climate change for the UK's international competitiveness, but believe that the measures in the draft programme are consistent with that aim.