HC Deb 08 July 2002 vol 388 cc686-7W
Mr. Sheerman

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if the Government support the extension of the Kyoto Protocol to cover developing nations. [63519]

Mr. Meacher

The Government are committed to the principle that developed countries, as the biggest emitters, should take the lead in reducing emissions. We are therefore working to secure ratification and early entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol, under which developed countries take on legally binding emission reduction targets for the period 2008–12. Developing countries are covered by the Kyoto Protocol. Under its terms, they do not have legally binding greenhouse gas emission targets but must take steps to limit their emissions and to report on their efforts. A number of developing countries have already ratified the Protocol and we hope that as many developing countries as possible will follow that lead. The Government hope that the entry into force of the Protocol will provide the basis on which we can enter into an international dialogue with developed and developing countries (or "all countries") on future action to tackle climate change. In due course, all countries that emit significant quantities of greenhouse gases will need to take action if we are to meet the UN Climate Change Convention's objective of stabilising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a safe level.

Mr. Wray

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions the Government have had with(a) US representatives, (b) the IMF, (c) the World bank, (d) the WTO and (e) developing nations regarding emissions reductions and the transfer of clean technologies to developing countries. [66643]

Mr. Meacher

[holding answer 3 July 2002]The Prime Minister, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have discussed a wide range of climate change issues with US representatives this year, including emissions reductions and technology transfer to developing countries. Most recently the importance of tackling climate change was discussed at the G8 Heads of Government meeting on 26–27 June in Kananaskis, attended by the Prime Minister and President Bush. Other Government Ministers and officials take every opportunity to engage constructively with the US on climate change.

While the Government have had no recent discussions with the IMF on these issues, we are actively encouraging a substantial and successful third replenishment of the Global Environment Facility, the focus of which includes climate change activities in developing countries.

The Department for International Development has been working closely with the World bank and a number of other agencies to assess the impact of climate change on poverty.

Climate change is rarely discussed in the forum of the WTO and the Government have had no discussions with it on the particular issues of emissions reductions and technology transfer.

Government Ministers and officials regularly discuss these and a range of other climate change related issues with representatives from developing countries. We will continue to work constructively on climate change with our international partners in the run up to the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in October, in Delhi.