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Green Classification

Mr. Sayeed: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make it her policy to refuse the classification of green to a Government building if the latter procures refrigerants and air conditioners in a manner that conflicts with the Government's objectives on climate change. [41177]

Mr. Meacher: There is already a requirement on Government Departments to contribute to our climate change objectives by achieving high ratings on new buildings and major refurbishments under the Building

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Research Establishment's Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM). BREEAM seeks to discourage the unnecessary use of cooling in buildings through a range of credits relating to emissions of CO 2 . There are also specific credits for use of non-ozone depleting refrigerants and leakage prevention systems. The method does not at the moment discourage refrigerants with a high global warming potential as the alternatives that are currently available are not always appropriate. However, the issue is being monitored as part of the annual review of BREEAM.

Food Imports

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of (a) organic and (b) non-organic (i) dairy products, (ii) meat, (iii) fruit, (iv) vegetables, (v) cereals and (vi) eggs sold in the UK in the last 12 months were imported; what assessment she has made of the proportion of these products that could be grown in the UK; and if she will make a statement. [42168]

Margaret Beckett [holding answer 11 March 2002]: Official figures are not available on the proportion of organic sales that are imported. The following table provides estimates produced by the Soil Association in their Organic Food and Farming Report 2001.

Percentage of organic sales imported
Dairy products35
Fruit and vegetables85
Cereals (and baked products)80

Rural Work Force

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the rural work force were employed in (a) agriculture, (b) rural tourism, (c) rural public sector and (d) rural private sector jobs by category in each year since 1990; and if she will make a statement. [42912]

Alun Michael: The table identifies the proportion of the rural work force employed in agriculture, tourism, public sector and private sector in England between 1995 and 2000. Data are not available for other years.

(a) Agriculture(b) Tourism(c) Public sector(d) Private sector


1. Agriculture—agriculture and fishing from SIC 1992 broad industrial groups. Data for 1995 and 1996 are not available on a comparable basis.

2. Tourism—distribution, hotels and restaurants from SIC 1992 broad industrial groups (best proxy measure). There are no data specifically on rural tourism.

3. Public sector—public administration, education and health from SIC 1992 broad industrial groups.

4. Private sector—other six categories within SIC 1992.

5. Rural areas are defined as the rural local authority districts and unitary authorities as classified by the Rural Development Commission and currently used by the Countryside Agency.


1995–97 data from Annual Employment Survey via NOMIS.

1998–2000 data from Annual Business Inquiry via NOMIS.

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Kyoto Agreement

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on progress towards implementation of the Kyoto agreement. [40125]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 March 2002]: Agreement at the climate change talks in Bonn and Marrakesh in 2001 on the detailed rules for implementation of the Kyoto protocol opened the way for ratification and entry into force of the protocol. In order for the Kyoto protocol to enter into force, it must be ratified by at least 55 countries, including countries accounting for at least 55 per cent. of industrialised countries' emissions in 1990. Without US participation, it is essential for both Russia and Japan to ratify as well as the EU.

A European Community decision to ratify Kyoto was adopted on 4 March. This paved the way for the UK and the other EU member states to complete their own ratification procedures. On 7 March, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs made a statement to the House setting in motion the process of UK ratification. Once the protocol has been before Parliament for 21 sitting days, the Foreign Secretary will be in a position to sign the ratification instrument and will do so on or shortly after 19 April. For legal and presentational reasons, the European Community and each of its member states have agreed to deposit their instruments of ratification with the UN Depository simultaneously. Since entry into force of the protocol will occur only 90 days after the prescribed number of ratification instruments have been deposited, the aim is to do this by early June at the latest to allow entry into force by the World Summit on Sustainable Development. We are encouraging other countries to work to this deadline.

The UK is making strong progress with implementing its climate change programme which we estimate could reduce our emissions by 23 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010. This is significantly over and above our 12.5 per cent. Kyoto target.

The UK has set a domestic goal to exceed this target through the measures set out in the Government's Climate Change Programme, published in November 2000. This aims to cut CO 2 emissions alone by 20 per cent.—we are well on course to achieve this and shall continue to evaluate our progress regularly. Measures set out in the UK Climate Change Programme aim to drive emission reductions over the next decade and into the future. Some examples include: the climate change levy, a new Energy Efficiency Commitment, an obligation to increase the production of energy from renewable sources by 10 per cent. by 2020 and an emissions trading scheme which is due to go live in April.


Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make

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a statement on the use of canals by industry; and what plans there are to improve the canal infrastructure to encourage industry to use them. [43527]

Mr. Meacher: The Freight Study Group was set up by the Government in November 2000 to examine the scope for increasing freight traffic on the inland waterways of England and Wales. My noble Friend the Lord Whitty is considering the Group's report with the Parliamentary Under-Secretary at the Department of Transport, Local Government and the Regions (Mr. Jamieson), and will make an announcement in due course.

Air Pollution

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will indicate, in respect of the new risk-based regulation methodology being developed for air pollution, who is carrying out the work; when this process began; when it will end; and if she will place a copy of related documentation in the Library. [43423]

Mr. Meacher: Risk and Policy Analysts Ltd. were commissioned by the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions in June 2000 to develop a methodology for risk-based regulation in relation to the Local Air Pollution Control system. Their report was published in November 2000 and was placed on the DETR website and is now to be found on the DEFRA website. The same firm was commissioned in May last year to undertake trials of the methodology recommended out of the four drawn up by the first stage of their work. The report is currently being finalised and will be placed on the DEFRA website in due course. I will decide the next steps on receipt of the report.

EU Policy Reform

Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her objectives are regarding reform of the (a) Common Agricultural Policy and (b) Common Fisheries Policy. [43083]

Margaret Beckett [holding answer 14 March 2002]: On the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, our goal is to reduce the overall burden of the CAP, delivering better value for money to taxpayers and consumers; greater reflection of animal welfare concerns; a better deal for the environment; and a better deal for farmers.

We want to see market price support and production controls phased out, with transitional support payments to help farmers to adjust. This should be complemented by a shift towards the "second pillar" of the CAP, thus expanding the resources available for targeted support for rural development and agri-environment schemes.

Our primary objective for the Common Fisheries Policy must be for a policy which is both economically and environmentally sustainable and one which involves stakeholders more closely in management decisions affecting them. Only in that way will the CFP attract support and credibility from fishermen, ensure responsible stock management and give the promise of a viable future. I strongly agree with the Commission's conclusions in their Green Paper on the operation of the CFP that it is not meeting its objectives. It is failing to provide an adequate living for many fishermen and is failing to conserve fish stocks. The forthcoming review of the CFP

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will give the opportunity not only to put right what has gone wrong but also to consider how the CFP should develop over the coming years.

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