HL Deb 07 December 2001 vol 629 cc164-5WA
Lord Harrison

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Convention on access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters (the Aarhus Convention). [HL1626]

Lord Whitty

The Government strongly support the Aarhus Convention and signed the treaty when it opened for signature in 1998. The three underlying principles of transparency, participation and access to justice are central to achieving sustainable development. The majority of the convention is already implemented in the UK although some legislative amendments will be necessary, in particular to the public access to environmental information regime. The Government intend to ratify the convention as soon as possible although the exact date is dependent on the legislative timetables of the devolved administrations.