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7 Nov 2002 : Column 586Wcontinued
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent discussions she has had with farmers about fly tipping and landfill taxes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 4 November 2002]: Defra Ministers hold many meetings with farming organisations to discuss all manner of topics. However, there have been no recent meetings to discuss fly tipping specifically. The Government is, however, keen to find out more about the causes of fly tipping and has commissioned research into fly tipping on agricultural land.
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Fly tipped waste is a blight on our countryside and towns. There are stringent controls in place to ensure that waste is dealt with properly. Where waste is disposed of illegally, it is clearly essential that steps are taken to dispose of the waste safely and properly to eliminate the risk of environmental pollution or harm to human health. The Environment Agency and local authorities, in their role as waste collection authority, may themselves take steps to remove fly tipped waste. DEFRA works closely with the fly tipping stakeholders forum to develop practical ways to combat the problem.
A Tidy Britain Group Report Effects of the Landfill Tax on Fly Tipping (published in 1998) did not establish any clear link between the tax and increased fly tipping. Indeed, the Report states that in 199798, domestic waste was, overall, the type of fly tipped waste most frequently collected by local authorities. As the tax does not directly affect householders it is unlikely to cause householders to fly tip waste. Moreover, each Waste Disposal Authority has a duty under section 51 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to provide civic amenity sites for the deposit of household waste.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to increase the rate of TB testing in Gloucestershire; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: Since an additional #3 million was made available to the State Veterinary Service earlier this year, veterinary, technical and administrative staff have been recruited to bring the administrative and veterinary teams dealing with TB in the Gloucester Animal Health Divisional Office up to full strength. Twenty temporary and casual staff have been recruited specifically for TB testing in addition to the normal complement of veterinary officers. This is starting to have a significant impact across the range of critical TB areas.
In early October Defra announced additional measures for the control of bovine TB in England, which included a timetable for the imposition of movement restrictions on herds with overdue tests. Within the Gloucester region the backlog of overdue tests is being actively managed to ensure that the number of herds put under restriction early next year as a result of the new measure is kept to a minimum. A dedicated team of six administrative staff has been set up to support the process. Letters will be sent out shortly to those farmers potentially affected encouraging them to arrange early TB tests. Defra is also maintaining close liaison with the NFU at county level.
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans she has to review the 20 day standstill rule; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 4 November 2002]: This will depend on the outcome of the detailed risk assessment and cost benefit analysis which is being carried out in line with the FMD Inquiry
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recommendations. We hope to be able to take account of emerging findings to make decisions about any changes to the current rules in time for the Spring 2003 movement season.
Joan Ruddock: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which GM crop varieties started national seed listing trials in September 2002; if she will give their (a) locations and (b) dates of planting; and if each trial is (i) a distinctiveness, uniformity and stability and (ii) a value for cultivation and use trial. 
Mr. Meacher [holding answer 6 November 2002]: No new GM candidate varieties started National List tests and trials in September 2002. Three Winter Oilseed Rape varieties, PHW99429, PHW01441, PHW02450, were already in test and trial and these were sown again in September 2002. Of these, PHW99429 has already completed Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability testing and was sown in Value for Cultivation and Use trials only. The site locations and dates of sowing are as follows:
|Type of Test or Trial||Location||Date of Sowing|
|Distinctness Uniformity and Stability||Sand Hutton, Yorkshire||6 September 2002|
|Value for||Thorganby, Lincolnshire||6 September 2002|
|Cultivation||Meden Vale, Nottinghamshire||12 September 2002.|
|and Use||Felton, Herefordshire||12 September 2002|
|Melbourn, Cambridgeshire||10 September 2002|
|Piccotts End, Hertfordshire||16 September 2002|
|Shellingford, Oxfordshire||13 September 2002|
|Bramham, Yorkshire||4 September 2002|
|Banham, Norfolk||5 September 2002|
|Udny, Aberdeenshire||11 September 2002|
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many climate change levy underlying agreements within the meaning of paragraph 48 of Schedule 6 to the Finance Act 2000 she has (a) entered into and (b) varied or; if she will give the name of the other party or parties to each such agreement or variation; if she will indicate, in relation to each such agreement, the umbrella agreement within the meaning of the same paragraph to which it relates; and if she will place in the Library copies of all such agreements and variations. 
Mr. Meacher: The Secretary of State currently is party to 5,460 underlying agreements within the meaning of paragraph 48 of Schedule 6 to the Finance Act 2000. The original umbrella agreements are placed in the Library and on the Defra website. The names of the operators of facilities currently covered by the underlying agreements are published, sector by sector, in Reduced Rate Certificates on HM Customs and Excise website. The underlying agreements contain commercially sensitive material in the form of energy efficiency targets and consequently cannot be published, though the standard template is also available on the Defra website. Variations to these agreements to date cover only new entrants to the agreements, withdrawals
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from them and changes of contact details. It would involve excessive costs to publish the variations involving these changes to company details. We have been in discussions with sector associations regarding variations to the agreements to provide for corrections to targets resulting from corrections to baseline data. The proportional improvements in energy efficiency required has been maintained. Any further variations to the provisions of the agreements will be placed in the Library under the same terms as the original agreements were placed.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many climate change agreements within the meaning of paragraph 47 of Schedule 6 to the Finance Act 2000 and variations, she has entered into and what the name is of the other party or parties to each such agreement or variation; if she will make a statement in relation to each such agreement on the description of energy-intensive installations within paragraph 51 of Schedule 6 to the Finance Act 2000 to which it relates; and if she will place in the Library copies of all such agreements and variations. 
Mr. Meacher: There is one climate change agreement under paragraph 47 of Schedule 2 to the Finance Act 2000, which provided for the unique case where there was only one company operating a specific eligible IPPC process. The agreement under this paragraph therefore combines the provisions of the umbrella and underlying agreements within the meaning of paragraph 48. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House and on the DEFRA website. The agreement contains the names of the relevant parties and a description of the type of the installation covered by the agreement. There have been no variations to this agreement.
Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if she will make a statement on the outcome of the Climate Change Conference in New Delhi; and if she will place in the Library copies of (a) the United Kingdom submissions, (b) other nations' submissions relevant to UK policy and (c) the text of the final communiqué. 
Mr. Meacher: There were two main outcomes from the Eighth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in New Delhi, India from 23 October to 1 November 2002.
The first was that good progress was made on several technical issues which are key to building the architecture for effective implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.
The first report of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board, established at COP7 in Marrakech, was approved. This will allow for the prompt start of the CDM and projects should start to come through the system next year. This should result in investment benefits for developing countries and help developed countries meet their Kyoto commitments. Work on how to include afforestation and reforestation projects under the CDM continued and is on track for agreement on schedule at COP10.
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The final element of the guidelines on the reporting and review of accounting for total emissions under Marrakech Accords (the rules implementing Kyoto) was agreed. Regular reporting and review is essential, for transparency in the system and to ensure that parties are keeping to detailed trading rules.
There were also productive discussions on legal and institutional matters, in particular on how the first meeting of the Kyoto Protocol governing body should be convened in conjunction with the Convention governing body.
Guidance was also agreed on how developing countries should report information to the COP in their national communications. This is essential for assessing the size of the global problem and as a basis for informing decisions on future action. Guidance was also agreed for the new funds agreed in Bonn and Marrakech last year.
The second outcome was the Delhi Declaration on climate change and sustainable development. Negotiations on the text were dominated by the developing country concerns of vulnerability to climate change and the fneed for countries to adapt to it effects, and by their reluctance to initiate a process for considering what more needs to be done by the international community until greater progress has been made in implementing existing commitments under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. The final text was therefore less forward-looking than we and our EU partners would have liked. Nevertheless, the Declaration makes important points about setting climate change in the context of sustainable development and puts a welcome focus on the needs of developing countries in trying to adapt to climate change.
There were no UK submissions on issues discussed in New Delhi because the EU negotiates as a block in the UNFCCC. Denmark, which currently holds the Presidency, made submissions on behalf of all Member States. I have today placed copies of all EU submissions relevant to UK policy in the library, along with those from other Parties to the UNFCCC on the same subjects, and a copy of the final text of the Delhi Declaration. When they are available, I will also place copies of the formal EU statements made during the conference in the Library.
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