§ Mr. Chris Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his assessment of the current relative radiative forcing effects of carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, nitrous oxide, halocarbons and water vapour with respect to pre-industrial levels; how he expects this to change in the future; and what implications this has for the United Kingdom climate change programme.
§ Mr. Atkins
The intergovernmental panel on climate change published estimates of current forcings, and possible future forcings under a range of scenarios, in its 1992 report, a copy of which is available in the Library of the House. The panel will publish a new report on the radiative forcing of climate, containing revised estimates, later this year.
The United Kingdom's climate change programme, published earlier this year, contains a package of measures aimed at meeting our commitments under the United Nations framework convention on climate change. The programme makes clear that the United Kingdom will work within forthcoming reviews of the convention, which will take account of the latest scientific evidence from the IPCC, towards ensuring that the ultimate objective of the convention is met. The United Kingdom's national programme will be reviewed and developed in the context of that process.