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Volume 707: debated on Tuesday 27 January 2009


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many states have deposited an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Protocol on Pollutant Release and Transfer Registers, laid before Parliament in August 2008 (Cm 7328); whether the United Kingdom intends to do so; and, if so, when. [HL762]

At the October 2008 Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) Working Group, it was announced that 12 countries had ratified the protocol. According to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) website, five more countries are needed to bring the protocol into force. The United Kingdom expects to implement the protocol fully in the spring, whereupon we shall be able to ratify it.

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what proposals they will make to the international community to achieve wider take-up of the European Union's measures on ground-level ozone pollution. [HL890]

The Government are fully engaged with international efforts to reduce ground-level ozone and the associated harmful effects on ecosystems and public health. As signatories to the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution, the UK, the United States and most other European countries have ratified the 1999 Gothenburg protocol.

The Gothenburg protocol aims to address acidification, eutrophication and ground-level ozone by setting emission ceilings, to be met by 2010, for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds and ammonia. Technical annexes to the protocol and supporting guidance documents provide information on how to meet those ceilings. Within the EU, the main obligations of the protocol have since been given effect through several measures that help to tackle ground-level ozone pollution, notably the national emission ceilings directive (2001/81/EC). The Government support action to promote ratification of the Gothenburg protocol by non-EU countries.