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Volume 227: debated on Wednesday 23 June 1993

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish details of EC grants available to those required to replace CFC-dependent machinery; if the Government will facilitate the release of EC grants by matching them with United Kingdom funds; and if he will make a statement.

I have been asked to reply.There are no EC grants available for those required to replace CFC-dependent machinery. Under the current EC framework governing state aid, member states are, however, permitted to provide grants, within specified limits, to support investments designed to protect the environment.Over the past three years, the United Kingdom has committed some £12 million of investment support to the development and demonstration of innovative environmental technologies through two schemes, the joint DTI/DOE environmental technology innovation scheme and the DTI's environmental management options scheme. International environmental research and development is also supported through the EUREKA Euroenviron programme.The Government are now considering how best to take forward then support for environmental technologies, but grants solely to subsidise compliance with minimum legal environmental standards would be contrary to the polluter-pays principle.