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Volume 164: debated on Monday 8 January 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he expects to receive the Coopers and Lybrand report on chlorofluorocarbons; to whom he will make it available; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 7 December 1989]: My Department has commissioned two reports on CFCs from Coopers and Lybrand. The first, which examines the effect of environmental and health and safety controls on the markets for chlorinated solvents, has been submitted to the Department and will be published shortly. The second study, which complements the first, will examine the size of and distribution of current CFC and halon use within the United Kingdom and assess the technical and economic options for the recovery, recycling and eventual destruction of these substances. This study is due to be submitted in early 1990 and is expected to contain much information of interest to both Government and industry. Our intention therefore is that this information should also be made widely available, although it is too early to say precisely in what form it will be published.

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he has received any representations about the West German Government's intentions to ban the refrigerant gas HFA 22 with effect from January 1992; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 7 December 1989]: The parties to the Montreal protocol on substances that deplete the ozone layer are presently discussing ways in which it should be strengthened at the second meeting of the parties in London next summer. The protocol is implemented within the European Community by regulation EC3322/88, which has as its legal base article 1305 of the treaty of Rome requiring unanimity of voting. For this reason, and because there would otherwise be serious implications for the internal market, this is a matter on which all 12 member states must work together. Her Majesty's Government's view remains that HFA 22 has an important part to play especially in helping the refrigeration industry to reduce its dependence on the more damaging chlorofluorocarbons, at least in the short to medium term.