HC Deb 28 July 2000 vol 354 c948W
Mr. Burgon

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions when the response to the sixth annual report of the Government Panel on Sustainable Development will be published. [133793]

Mr. Meacher

I am pleased to announce that the Government's Response to the sixth and final annual report of the Government Panel on Sustainable Development will be published on 8 August. We agree with many of the Panel's recommendations; notablyReducing carbon dioxide emissions is a priority and that sequestration has a role to play. We are funding research into mitigation measures. The World Trade Organisation needs to reform and modernise; we are committed to playing a leading role within the EU to ensure this happens. Noise can have a detrimental effect on people's quality of life. The forthcoming review of the current Noise Act and the EU directive on Noise will provide opportunities to consider effective remedies to noise disturbance. The need for continued open and cautious exploration of the potential of biotechnology, both possible benefits and downsides. Better integration of environmental concerns with fisheries management and management of the oceans is required.

The Panel has been an extremely valuable source of advice for Government in the achievement of sustainable development and I am grateful to the Convenor of the Panel, Sir Crispin Tickell, and his colleagues for all their work over recent years.

Copies of the Response will be placed in the Library, and it will also be available in electronic form on the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions website www.detr.gov.uk.