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Sulphur Dioxide Emissions

Volume 982: debated on Thursday 17 April 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when sulphur dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom reached a peak; and what he considers will be the trend due to the projected increase in power stations coal consumption.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 April 1980, c. 343]: Sulphur dioxide emissions in the United Kingdom reached a peak in 1970; since then they have steadily declined and are forecast to continue to do so until the mid-1980s. As most of the projected increase in coal consumption in power stations will be to replace oil, total sulphur dioxide emissions will not be greatly affected.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he accepts the estimate contained in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Report "Programme on the Long Range Transport of Air Pollutants (1977)", that the United Kingdom accounted for 24 per cent. of Norwegian deposits of sulphur.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 April 1980, c. 343]: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave him on 21 February 1980.—[Vol. 979. c. 302.] I accept the estimate given in the OECD report within the reservations expressed in that answer.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what would be the cost to the United Kingdom following the removal of 60 per cent. of the sulphur dioxide emissions from (a) power stations and (b) other processes of manufacture.

[pursuant to his reply, 3 April 1980, c. 343]: To effect a 60 per cent. reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions from power stations and other processes of manufacture would involve, in addition to the extensive use of low-sulphur content fuels, fitting a large amount of control equipment in existing plant. This is neither practical nor economically realistic. However, a report on "The Effects of Sulphur Compounds on the Environment", which is in preparation, and to which I referred in the answer I gave to my hon. Friend on 21 February, will consider the economic implications of reducing sulphur dioxide emissions.—[Vol. 979, c. 303.]