HC Deb 06 July 1999 vol 334 cc441-2W
Mr. Stunell

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what assessment he has made of the environmental costs and benefits of alternative refrigerant gases in the next generation of installed equipment; and if he will make a statement; [89254]

(2) what assessment he has made of the projected impact of the use of HFCs as refrigerant gases on the United Kingdom's target for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and if he will make a statement. [89256]

Mr. Meale

My Department has carried out several assessments of alternatives to the use of ozone depleting substances such as CFCs. Alternatives to CFC refrigerants include HFCs, which are potent greenhouse gases, ammonia and hydrocarbons. While ammonia and hydrocarbons benefit from not being greenhouse gases, they are either toxic or highly flammable. Nevertheless, in suitably designed systems, they may be used for many refrigeration applications. Energy efficiency is an important factor in determining overall greenhouse gas

Terminal passengers
1998 1997 Percent change on previous year
London area airports
Gatwick 29,032,838 26,792,797 8.36
Heathrow 60,360,404 57,848,625 4.34
London City 1,360,182 1,161,065 17.15
Luton 4,115,924 3,221,266 27.77
Southend 4,053 8,652 -53.16
Stansted 6,830,289 5,366,197 27.28
Total London area airports 102,216,797 94,398,602 8.28
Battersea Heliport 4,709 5,072 -7.16
Other UK airports
Aberdeen 2,651,995 2,568,620 3.25
Barra 8966 8,597 4.29
Barrow-in-Furness 105 206 -49.03
Belfast City 1,314,346 1,282,390 2.49
Belfast International 2,626,963 2,459,344 6.82
Benbecula 36,294 36,983 -1.86
Biggin Hill 6,967 7,269 -4.15
Birmingham 6,607,910 5,903,434 11.93

emissions from the use of refrigeration systems, and is generally comparable for well designed systems using HFCs, ammonia or hydrocarbons as refrigerants.

Emissions of HFCs used as refrigerant gases were 0.2 million tonnes of carbon-equivalent in 1995 and are currently projected to rise to 1.3 million tonnes of carbon-equivalent in 2010. This increase in emissions is equivalent to 0.5 per cent. of total UK emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases in 1990. These projections assume the increased use of alternative refrigerants in some applications. The Government are developing a UK climate change programme which will address both their legally binding target of 12.5 per cent. reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2008–12, and the domestic goal of a 20 per cent. reduction in CO2 emissions.

Mr. Green

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what steps he has taken to encourage the use of non-HFC refrigerants inside Government buildings; and if he will make a statement. [90061]

Mr. Meale

My Department issued a model improvement statement for greening government operations in May 1998. Since then Government departments have been adopting and adapting the model to meet their own special circumstances and develop further their environmental strategies. Among other things, the model statement promotes switching from HFCs to environmentally preferable substitutes having a low or zero global warming potential. Advice on suitable alternatives is given in DETR's "Green Guide for Buyers" and other guidance which can be found on our website.