§ The Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Margaret Beckett)
The Government have listened to and take seriously the concerns that have been expressed by the various industrial sectors affected about the possible impact of the LCPD on jobs and security of energy supply. In view of this, Defra jointly with DTI have been carrying out extensive further analysis of all the possibilities that the Directive might offer in order to seek an optimal solution within the framework of sustainable development, in a way that will work for industry without compromising the environmental goals set by the directive.
Our further analysis has shown that a modified approach, drawing on work already done on the National Emissions Reduction Plan (NERP) and Emissions Limit Value (ELV) approaches would deliver the desired environmental outcomes in a way that is more cost-effective for business. The Government intend to explore this approach with the European Commission. We will also be holding further discussions with the Commission about the legal definition of a combustion plant which is unclear in the directive.
The LCPD does not come into force until 2008 for pre-1987 plants. Nevertheless, we are very conscious of the need for certainty about the application of EU environmental directives so that industry can plan future investments. Final decisions on the UK implementation approach will be made as soon as possible. We will keep stakeholders informed of developments in the meantime.