North Sea Ministerial Conference

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 17th May 1995.

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Photo of Ms Joyce Quin Ms Joyce Quin , Gateshead East 2:30 pm, 17th May 1995

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he will be making at the forthcoming North sea ministerial conference. [23205]

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Environment

I refer the hon. Member to my earlier reply to the hon. Member for Lewisham, Deptford (Ms Ruddock).

Photo of Ms Joyce Quin Ms Joyce Quin , Gateshead East

Has the Secretary of State seen the report in The Observer and the study by the World Wide Fund for Nature which claim that the Government are failing to meet their international commitments concerning the reduction of pollution in the North sea? Can the Secretary of State assure me that by the end of this year, the Government—as they are supposed to do—will have met every one of the targets to which they have agreed for all the substances listed?

Photo of John Gummer John Gummer Secretary of State for Environment

We are already in the top third of the North sea countries in meeting our commitments, and we have met 27 of the 36 targets for the reduction of inputs. We are well on the way to meeting the rest of them, including the 75 per cent. target for mercury and the 70 per cent. for cadmium. It is no wonder that David Bellamy has referred to us as the clean man of Europe.