Earth Summit

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 17th June 1992.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Martin Smyth Martin Smyth , Belfast South 12:00 am, 17th June 1992

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the fiscal and industrial consequences for the United Kingdom of decisions reached at the Rio de Janeiro conference.

Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard Secretary of State for Environment

The impetus for sustainable development resulting from the Earth summit will have significant consequences in many areas of our national life. The Government are committed to reporting regularly on the progress that we make in following up the summit's conclusions.

Photo of Martin Smyth Martin Smyth , Belfast South

In the light of that answer, and the attitude of, for example, the United States Government, does the Secretary of State accept that short-term gain might mean long-term ruin—not only for developed countries but, especially, for developing countries?

Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard Secretary of State for Environment

The hon. Gentleman is right. That lies at the heart of the whole concept of sustainable development, and I welcome his support for the steps that we have taken.

Photo of Mr Anthony Durant Mr Anthony Durant , Reading West

Does my right hon. and learned Friend agree that any proposed carbon tax ought to be introduced world wide, rather than imposed on countries such as ours in isolation?

Photo of Michael Howard Michael Howard Secretary of State for Environment

I am sure that my hon. Friend, who takes a close interest in such matters, will be much comforted to learn that the European Commission's proposals for a carbon tax include an element of conditionality. His concern is reflected in them.