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29 Mar 2004 : Column 1198Wcontinued
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the net environmental effect that would flow from tightening drinking water standards further, with particular reference to energy consumption by water companies. 
Mr. Morley: The standards for wholesomeness included in the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations 2000 are based on those set out in the 1998 EC Directive on the quality of water intended for human consumption (98/83/EC). These in turn reflect the current World Health Organisation guideline values for drinking water quality. The WHO has published a third edition of its draft guidelines which the European Commission has considered as part of a review of standards, as required by the Directive, in the light of scientific and technical progress.
The process of reviewing the Directive started during October 2003 when the European Commission held a seminar. It has indicated that there is unlikely to be significant changes to the current standards during next five years and that any changes that might be adopted would be unlikely to come into force before 2010. The Government considers that it is not possible to consider provision for costs associated with possible changes to water quality standards within the 2004 periodic review of water prices.
Drinking water standards apply generally at consumers' taps. Environmental standards are set independently to protect the environment, for example, the environmental quality standards that are set to protect aquatic organisms and ecosystems are applied in the water body.
If, in the light of scientific and technical progress, the EC were to agree to more stringent drinking water quality standards in the future, the normal requirements to consult and to prepare impact assessments would apply to any proposed new regulatory standards. The costs of meeting such tighter standards would also be taken into account in the periodic review of water prices.
Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will change her policy so as to co-ordinate the implementation of the national allocation plan of the Emissions Trading Scheme to include the British Ceramic Confederation in respect of the ceramics sector. 
Mr. Morley: Government have consulted UK industry at each stage of the implementation process of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme and the development of the National Allocation Plan. The British Ceramic Confederation has informed officials of problems with some of the data submitted for the draft National Allocation Plan. Data are being resubmitted and corrected information will be used for the list of installation-level allocations to be published in June.
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Furthermore, the British Ceramic Confederation have been involved throughout our on-going consultation with industry, and representatives were present at a meeting held between Defra and DTI officials and the ceramics sector on 16 February 2004. Officials are taking the issues raised by stakeholders seriously and are currently working on how to revise the proposals set out in the draft National Allocation Plan to address these and other concerns raised by stakeholders. Work on these issues and on other points raised in formal responses to the consultation will continue over the coming weeks.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made towards incorporating the Clean Development Mechanism and the Joint Implementation of Reduction Aims in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 
Mr. Morley: The Commission has proposed an amendment to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) which links the EU ETS to the Kyoto Project Mechanisms, Joint Implementation (JI) and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
The Linking Directive is currently being negotiated and we expect a first reading deal in April . The UK supports early agreement on this directive and we expect that once concluded the Amendment Directive will provide a mechanism for the use of credits from CDM and JI projects by operators within the EU ETS as soon as these projects become available.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what mechanisms she expects to put in place to ensure that the self-monitoring of installations participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme is not undermined by fraud. 
Mr. Morley: The European Commission have published guidance for the monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Installations covered by the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in the UK are required to submit monitoring and reporting plans to the regulators who will be assessing these in accordance with the Commission Guidelines. This will ensure that all installations within a sector are monitoring and reporting their data according to the same protocol.
In addition to this, baseline emissions data and annual emissions reports will be verified by independent verifiers and this should minimise the risk of false or misleading information being submitted.
Finally, the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading Scheme Regulations 2003 also contain provisions making it an offence to provide, deliberately or recklessly, false or misleading information in various situations, such as for the purpose of obtaining an emissions permit. These provisions should again reduce the risk of fraud.
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Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of the 20 per cent. cut in carbon dioxide emissions by 2010 she expects to be achieved through the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 
Mr. Morley: The Government are firmly committed to its domestic goal of moving towards a 20 per cent. reduction in CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by 2010. The Climate Change Programme published in 2000 identifies policies that were expected to achieve reductions of 17.75 MtC which would amount to a reduction of 19 per cent. on 1990 levels.
The Government proposed in the draft National Allocation Plan published for consultation in January that the cap on emissions for the first phase of the scheme should be derived from the projections of emissions for policies already in place for the industry sectors concerned. The sector cap proposed for the electricity supply industry has been reduced by 0.75 MtC to contribute towards further reductions in line with the plans in the Climate Change Programme for reductions from emission trading. This was consistent with an overall reduction of 16.3 per cent. by 2010.
In determining the cap for the second phase of the scheme from 2008 to 2012, the Government will ensure that installations covered by the scheme make an appropriate contribution to that goal. This issue will be considered further in the review of the UK Climate Change Programme which will take place later in 2004.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the ability of EU accession countries to participate in the EU emissions trading scheme. 
Mr. Morley: The UK and other member states have worked with the European Commission through a series of workshops in accession countries to discuss the implementation of the EU emissions trading scheme. The Commission regularly reviews the progress of all member states and accession countries in implementing the scheme. The latest assessment suggests that most are on course to participate in the scheme from next year.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the monitoring of emissions from installations participating in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme situated in the accession countries. 
Mr. Morley: The European Commission has held workshops in eight out of 10 capitals of the acceding countries in order to explain the Directive and the steps needed to implement it. These workshops covered monitoring, reporting and verification; allocation; registries and implementing legislation. Another series of workshops are being held throughout the EU focussing on national allocation plans.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what additional resources will be made available to the Environment Agency to help it fulfil its responsibilities under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 
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Mr. Morley: The Environment Agency has taken on additional staff to manage the responsibilities that it will have as a regulator for the purposes of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. The Agency agrees its priorities with the Department during the annual corporate planning process and allocates its funds accordingly.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) current and (b) prospective EU member states have approached her Department for advice on the drafting of national allocation plans. 
Mr. Morley: The UK published its draft National Allocation Plan for the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for consultation in January. Government officials have discussed the proposals with representatives of all EU Member States and Accession Countries at meetings organised by the European Commission to discuss the implementation of the scheme. The draft National Allocation Plan is available on the Defra website and we are aware that many Member States have reviewed the detail of our approach to the Plan.
Mr. Morley: The development and drafting of the National Allocation Plan has involved more than forty staff from Defra, DTI and the Devolved Administrations, with significant contributions from other departments including HM Treasury and Ofgem.
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