§ Mr. Sumberg
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he is taking to identify the extent of and need for halon use within the United Kingdom; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Trippier
Under the amendments to the Montreal protocol that were agreed in London last June, the production of halons is to be phased out by 2,000, subject to limited exemptions for essential uses. The parties to the protocol are to agree an initial list of essential uses next year. Halons cause serious damage to the ozone layer, but they are at present widely used for firefighting. In order to establish a clear picture of halon use within the UK my Department has decided to commission a detailed study by C. S. Todd and Associates. This will seek to identify those uses for which substitutes are already available, what can be done to help this substitution, and those uses which appear likely to be essential at present.