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Mr. Lazarowicz: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her policy is on the proposal by developing countries to incorporate a development box in the WTO agreement on agriculture. 
Ms Hewitt: The UK is committed to securing a WTO agreement on agriculture which provides real and substantial benefits for developing countries. The proposal to consolidate such benefits in a special development box has attractions and has helped focus attention on developing country needs. I welcome those parts of the proposal which seek to integrate developing countries into world trade on terms that recognise their needs without constructing new barriers to trade.
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the external organisations set up by her as part of the Government's strategy to combat climate change indicating (a) their remits and (b) their sources of funding. 
Mr. Wilson: The Department has not itself established any external organisations as part of the Government's climate change programme. However, it has worked with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which leads on climate change policy on several initiatives. The Department has helped with the establishment of the Carbon Trust whose remit is to help the UK move towards a low carbon economy, by encouraging the development and uptake of low carbon technologies and administering energy support and advice for business. The Carbon Trust is funded from receipts from the climate change levy and also receives support from DEFRA, the Scottish Executive, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Executive.
The Department also assists the Tyndall Centre at the university of East Anglia which supports the work in nine research institutions to promote understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change. The Tyndall Centre is funded by the National Environment Research Council (NERC), Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC); and the Department contributes £210,000 over three years for the development of assistance to business on climate change causes and its consequences.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what estimate her Department has made of the cost in (a) discounted terms and (b) undiscounted terms of making radioactive waste safe, prior to a long-term solution being found at the BNFL owned Sellafield site and other BNFL owned sites. 
Mr. Wilson: The BNFL annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2001 estimated the company's total future cash expenditure for waste management as £5.9 billion and £12 billion in discounted and undiscounted terms respectively.
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1139W
The corresponding figures in the annual report and accounts for the year just ended are likely to be higher reflecting the revision of BNFL's historic waste management strategy which was outlined in my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State's statement to the House on 28 November 2001.
Mr. Stunell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much direct Government funding has been made available to the renewables sector in the last financial year and the following year for (a) research and development, (b) capital investment and (c) revenue support; and to which projects it will be allocated. 
Mr. Wilson: The Renewables Obligation, the Government's main policy instrument for the promotion of renewable energy, came into effect from 1 April, and is financed through payments by electricity consumers. The earlier Non Fossil Fuel Obligation (NFFO) was also financed in this way. Hence most public support for renewable energy is not direct Government funding.
Estimated maximum payments available under the Renewables Obligation for England and Wales and the corresponding Renewables Obligation (Scotland) for 200203 are £282 million. The level of the obligation is set to rise each year to 201011, when maximum payments for the year are estimated to reach £1 billion. Actual payments, and the projects that will benefit, will depend on the capacity coming forward. Estimated payments from NFFO and comparable arrangements in Scotland in 200102 were £85.5 million. Payments under these arrangements are expected to decline substantially from 200203 onwards, following the introduction of the Renewables Obligation.
The Government directly fund research and development in renewable energy through the DTI's Sustainable Energy Programme and through the Research Councils.
|DTI Sustainable Energy Programme||13.0||19.0|
(22) Revised estimated spend
Research projects are currently funded in the following programme areas: biomass; waste; embedded generation; fuel cells; solar; wind; hydro; wave; tidal; technology transfer and exports. I am placing in the Libraries of the House a list of research projects funded under the DTI's programme in 200102. Details of relevant current research projects funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) can be found on the EPSRC website http://www.epsrc.ac.uk/epsrcgrants/ portfolio.asp by selecting 'Research Topics' and then 'Electricity GenerationRenewable and Clean'.
In addition to the research programmes described, the DTI has been assigned a further £5 million over three years for wave and tidal demonstration projects and a further £4 million for net metering storage and control demonstration projects.
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1140W
The Government are also setting up capital grants programmes in the following areas with the following funding over three years:
£69 million for bioenergy (including £36 million from the New Opportunities Fund and £3 million for biomass heating)
£20 million for photovoltaics (PV).
As has been indicated, revenue support for the renewables sector is provided through the Renewables Obligation rather than through direct Government funding. The sector also benefits from exemption of renewable electricity from the Climate Change Levy.
Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on (a) the progress of the chemical industry's learning and skills strategy, (b) the programme to promote the spread of best practice, (c) support for chemical industry cluster initiatives and (d) the programme to support chemicals inward investment from north America. 
Ms Hewitt: My noble Friend the Minister for Science announced on 24 January the formation of a Chemicals Innovation and Growth Team (CIGT) as a partnership between Government, the industry, and other stakeholders to stimulate the growth and sustainability of a competitive chemicals industry in the UK.
Among other things, the CIGT has been charged with identifying ways of improving competencies and skills in the industry. This will work alongside the new Sector Skills Council for chemicals manufacturing, oil and gas extraction and petroleum refining, in which the Government will be investing £2 million over the next two years.
The Process Industries Centre for Manufacturing Excellencea Government-industry partnershipis the primary body charged with improving manufacturing performance and productivity in the UK chemicals industry through the spread of best practice. To date this initiative has proved extremely successful. Many of the companies who have so far been through this process have seen improvements measured in hundreds of thousands of pounds.
The chemicals industry has a number of natural clusters throughout the UK. In these primary areas, regional chemical initiatives have been formed to help improve networking between companies and to address collectively those issues which impact upon the competitiveness of the industry at a local or regional level. They are industry-led but have the active support and involvement of the DTI, the RDAs in those regions, and of Scottish Enterprise in Scotland. These cluster initiatives have proved of great value in helping to address the needs of the industry.
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1141W
A chemicals industry specialist was appointed in January 2001 to work with Invest UK to promote UK chemicals investment opportunities to companies in north America. He is working with Scottish Enterprise, the RDAs and the regional chemical initiatives on opportunities for new investment.
Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many claimants have received a final settlement through each of the top 10 claims handlers for (a) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (b) vibration white finger of former coalminers. 
Mr. Wilson: Nationally for chronic bronchitis and emphysema, the Department has made almost 68,500 individual payments and settled 24,000 claims, amounting to £293.6 million. In relation to vibration white finger (VWF), the Department has made 84,000 individual payments and settled over 38,000 claims, worth £512.1 million.
In the time given, the Department cannot provide data broken down by claims handlers.
Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been paid to date to each of the top 10 claims handlers involved in the compensation claims for (a) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (b) vibration white finger of former coalminers. 
Mr. Wilson: (a) The amount paid to each of the top 10 claims handlers involved in the compensation claims for chronic bronchitis and emphysema is as follows:
|Top 10 claims handlers||Costs paid (£ million)|
|Hugh James Ford Simey||8.9|
|Mark Gilbert Morse||0.8|
|Browell Smith & Co.||3.8|
(b) The amount paid to each of the top 10 claims handlers involved in the compensation claims for vibration white finger is as follows:
|Top 10 claims handlers||Costs paid (£ million)|
|Browell Smith & Co.||4.5|
|Hugh James Ford Simey||3.2|
Mr. Barron: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much has been paid to claimants
18 Apr 2002 : Column 1142W
through each of the top 10 claims handlers involved in the compensation claims for (a) chronic bronchitis and emphysema and (b) vibration white finger of former coalminers. 
Mr. Wilson: (a) The amount paid to claimants through each of the top 10 claims handlers for chronic bronchitis and emphysema is as follows:
|Top 10 claims handlers||Total damages paid (£ million)|
|Hugh James Ford Simey||56.6|
|Union of Democratic Mineworkers||16.8|
|Mark Gilbert Morse||5.6|
|Browell Smith & Co.||22.9|
(b) The amount paid to claimants through each of the top 10 claims handlers for vibration white finger, VWF, is as follows.
|Top 10 claims handlers||Total damages paid (£ million)|
|Browell Smith & Co.||44.1|
|Union of Democratic Mineworkers||46.1|
|Hugh James Ford Simey||30.8|
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