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Written Answers to Questions

Wednesday 10 November 2004


Graffiti/Fly-posting (Merseyside)

Mrs. Curtis-Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on how many occasions a Merseyside (a) local authority officer, (b) community support officer and (c) person accredited by the Chief Constable has issued a fixed penalty notice for minor graffiti and fly-posting offences. [191327]

Ms Blears: I have been asked to reply.

The number of fixed penalty notices issued is not held centrally. The power to issue such notices for minor graffiti or fly posting has not been used on Merseyside by Community Support Officers or accredited persons.

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the outcome was of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council on 18–19 October; what the Government's stance was on the issues discussed, including its voting record; and if she will make a statement. [195376]

Margaret Beckett: My hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary and I represented the United Kingdom at a meeting of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council in Luxembourg on 18 October 2004. The Scottish Minister for Environment and Rural Development was also present.

As this was the last Council expected to be attended by Commissioners Franz Fischler and David Byrne, the Council took the opportunity to pay warm tribute to the contribution that they had made during their time in office.

As to the agenda, the Council responded to a number of key questions arising from a Commission report on the simplification of the common market organisation in fruit and vegetables. I joined several delegations in noting that, while changes to the regime agreed in 1996 have had a positive effect, we need to look constructively at the scope for further changes, including increased flexibility and subsidiarity in the regime. Its impact on developing countries and on the Doha Development Agenda would also be important factors. We should be wary of further intervention in the market but we could look at the scope for promotion of fruit and vegetable consumption. The Commission will reflect upon the exchanges before tabling any proposals for further reform. Discussion will resume at official level.

The Council took note, without discussion, of discussions on the European Action Plan for Organic Food and Farming and agreed conclusions supporting a range of further actions.
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On fisheries, my hon. Friend the Parliamentary Secretary emphasised the importance of consistent and effective enforcement of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), and welcomed the proposal for a Community Fisheries Control Agency. However, he emphasised that the Agency should act in a co-ordinating, not instructing role; that it should build on work to develop a regional input to the CFP; and that it should be cost neutral. Many delegations made similar points. Discussion will continue between officials.

The Council held an initial exchange of views in preparation for this year's negotiation on a fisheries agreement with Norway. My hon. Friend made clear the high priority the United Kingdom attaches to ensuring that the EU has access to the full amount of Arctic cod quota it is entitled to under the terms of the EEA Agreement, and identifying stocks that the EU can offer Norway in exchange without making use of mackerel which is a fully utilised quota stock. There was general agreement that the Commission needed to take a robust line with Norway. Further preparations for the negotiation will be taken forward by officials.

The Council held a policy debate on Commission proposals for recovery plans for hake and Norway lobster in the Cantabrian Sea and for sole stocks in the Western English Channel and Bay of Biscay. My hon. Friend made clear the United Kingdom's commitment to sustainable management of western Channel sole which is an important stock for fishermen in south-west England, but that we do not believe western Channel sole should be a recovery stock or that the Commission's effort control proposals are appropriate. He drew attention to the advice on this stock delivered by the International Council for the Exploration of the Seas (ICES) in August which suggests that this stock is less likely to be outside safe limits than other sole stocks, confirming the results of collaborative research carried out with commercial fishing vessels in the south-west. He called for inconsistencies between this advice and the most recent ICES draft advice to be clarified urgently. Other member states expressed a range of views on the recovery plan proposals. Discussions will continue among officials.

The Commission reported on the state of play on a number of important trade negotiations. On the WTO, Commissioner Fischler welcomed the framework agreement reached in Geneva in the summer as a basis for continued detailed negotiations which safeguard essential European interests. He also reported on the continuing attempts to make progress in the EU/Mercosur negotiations; on work to agree a tariff-only arrangement for reform of the banana regime; and on resolving outstanding negotiations with certain third country suppliers of rice. Among a long list of many other business items, I and several others supported a Danish request to consider how best to include low fat dairy products in the school milk programme. Several, mostly central European, member states drew attention to the problems on the EU cereals market following this year's harvest. Other matters raised were: the impact of the US Bio-terrorism Act, implementation of the reformed CAP in Denmark, state aid for weather damage in Lithuania, the co-existence of GMO and other crops, the impact on fishing of increased diesel prices in France and the EU/Angola Fisheries
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Agreement. The Commission tabled a written report on continuing BSE control measures. France reported on its action to deal with a recent case of rabies in an imported dog. Spain reported an outbreak of blue tongue disease in cattle in southern Spain and drew attention to a forthcoming conference on plant genetic resources.

Aircraft Emissions

Mrs May: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what basis noise measurements will be taken to draw up a noise map for Heathrow. [195092]

Alun Michael: Details of the proposed options will be put out to public consultation in due course. As yet, no decision has been taken as to who will be the competent authorities for the production of strategic noise maps for airports under Directive 2002/49/EC on the assessment and management of environmental noise (the Environmental Noise Directive), or the methodology to be used.

The pilot project to map Heathrow in terms of the noise indicator Lden and the annual daytime contours produced for the DfT are produced using the calculation model, ANCON. This model is validated from empirical noise measurements for the various aircraft types included in the model.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions she has had with the Department for Trade and Industry on its target for greenhouse gas emissions; and which is the lead Department in setting those targets. [195343]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 November 2004]: The Spending Review 2004 reconfirmed the UK's targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 12.5 per cent. below 1990 levels in line with our Kyoto commitment and to move towards a 20 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels by 2010. These Public Sector Agreement (PSA) targets are shared jointly with the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department for Transport. The Government also announced in last year's Energy White Paper that we would put ourselves on a path to cut our carbon dioxide emissions by some 60 per cent. by 2050.

The UK Climate Change Programme published in 2000 sets out the Government's approach to tackling climate change. It contains a framework of policies and measures intended to achieve the emissions reductions necessary to deliver the UK's commitment under the Kyoto Protocol and move towards the 20 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Progress towards the Kyoto Protocol commitment and national goals are discussed by Ministers regularly, in particular through the Sustainable Energy Policy Network, whose ministerial group oversees the delivery of the Energy White Paper commitments. The group is jointly chaired by my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State and the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry.

Mr. Clapham: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what her latest estimate is of total UK tonnage of carbon dioxide
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emissions; what proportion is produced by (a) aircraft transport, (b) road and rail transport and shipping in territorial waters, (c) coal burned in power stations, (d) oil burned in (i) power stations, (ii) domestic heating and (iii) industrial heating, (e) gas burned in (A) power stations, (B) domestic heating and (C) industrial heating, (f) orimulsion/shale oil burned in power stations and (g) industry, broken down by sector. [195672]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 2 November 2004]: Total emission estimates of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) in the UK in 2002 were 550,965,312 tonnes. The following table shows the proportion of these emissions that occurred from the sources listed. Figures quoted for oil and gas burnt by both the industrial and domestic sectors are total fuel figures for each sector, as it is not possible to disaggregate emissions to display heating only.

Orimulsion has not been burnt by any sector since 1997.
SourceFuelPercentage UK total CO 2 emissions in 2002
(a)Aircraft transportAll fuels used in category0.5
(b)Road transportAll fuels used in category21
(b)Rail transportAll fuels used in category0.2
(b)ShippingAll fuels used in category0.3
(c)Power StationsCoal18
(d)(i)Power stationsOil0.4
(e)(A)Power StationsGas10

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