§ Mr. Simon Coombs
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the outcome of the European Community Environment Council on 29 October.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Energy and I represented the United Kingdom at a joint session of the Environment and Energy councils, at which a concerted position on the Community's approach to global warming was agreed. This will enable the Community to play a leading role at the second world climate conference. The agreed position endorses the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and recognises the need for a global response to the problem through the negotiation of a framework convention on climate change and related protocols, under 539W the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation, by the time of the 1992 United Nations conference on environment and development. A concerted position on targets for the stabilisation of carbon dioxide emissions was also agreed which acknowledged the United Kingdom's published programmes.
In the Environment Council, a proposed directive to tighten up emission standards for all classes of cars was discussed. The United Kingdom pressed for early agreement of this directive, and substantial progress was made on resolving many of the outstanding points.
The Council adopted conclusions on the use of economic and fiscal mechanisms as instruments of environmental policy. The Council agreed on the potential importance of such instruments and the need to examine the possible scope for action at Community level. It took note of the European Commission's intention to produce proposals in this area.
Proposed directives on the treatment of sewage discharges and on the management of hazardous waste were both discussed in detail. In each case some progress was made and several outstanding issues were resolved, giving the prospect of agreement in the near future.
Scheme Original cost estimate £ million Original estimated completion date Current estimated actual date) (a) Eastern Gateway Access Road 11.6 June 1989 October 1989 (b) North Woolwich Road widening 2.7 May 1989 April 1990 (c) Prestons Road improvement 0.9 July 1992 July 1992 (d) Connaught Crossing 22.5 July 1990 August 1990 (f) Canary Wharf Eastern Access 9 November 1990 November 1990 (h) Lower Lea Crossing 36 June 1992 February 1992 (i) Limehouse Link Stage 1 (Westferry Road Junction) 220 May 1993 May 1993 Stage 2 (full scheme) August 1993 August 1993 (j) West India Dock Road improvement 8.4 February 1992 February 1992 The original cost estimates and completion dates given above were those estimated by LDDC at the time of DOE scheme approval. The current LDDC estimates of costs are commercially confidential since final payments have not been agreed for the contracts. The contracts for (g) Poplar link and (k) East India Dock link have not yet been let, so the estimated cost of these is commercially confidential. Lower road improvement is primarily a London borough of Southwark scheme, although the LDDC will make financial contributions. The timetable and scheme cost are matters for agreement between Southwark and the Department of Transport. The LDDC has no scheme known as Westferry road improvement.