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Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairswhat assessment she has made of the impact that rising wholesale gas prices will have on the ability of the UK to meet its carbon dioxide reduction targets; and if she will make a statement. [200557]

Mr. Morley: The updated energy projections, which feed into decisions on the UK National Allocation Plan, make assumptions about wholesale gas prices for the period to 2010. These in turn will affect projections of carbon emissions over this period.

Carbon dioxide emissions in 2003 are provisionally estimated to have been 7 per cent. below 1990 levels, and total greenhouse gas emissions 14 per cent. below 1990 levels. There was an estimated 0.25 per cent. increase in carbon dioxide emissions between 2002 and 2003. Emissions from power stations increased due to increased coal burn because of low coal prices and high gas prices, lower nuclear output, and colder outside temperatures.

Projections show that emissions will continue to fall and the UK remains on course to achieve its Kyoto target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 12.5 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2008–12.

The latest emissions projections, which include our assumptions about fossil fuel prices, are at:

A review of the Climate Change Programme was launched on 15 September. The review will evaluate the success of the existing policy measures in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and will examine the scope for further reductions in the future.
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External Consultants

Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the total cost to her Department was for the use of external consultants in each of the last two years. [202366]

Alun Michael: As we have made clear on a number of occasions, Defra's preparations for implementing the Gershon value for money agenda involves Pareto or detailed expenditure distribution analysis of departmental expenditure on professional services. That analysis is now being undertaken, and will be made available publicly in due course. The analysis will define expenditure on external consultants as a proportion of departmental expenditure on professional services.

Fish Quota

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the total value in (a) sterling and (b) euros of UK fish quota entitlements held by (i) fishing licence holders, (ii) fish producer organisations and (iii) others, broken down by (A) species and (B) fishing sector areas, in each of the last five years for which records are available. [202035]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Department, and the other Fisheries Departments in the UK, currently issue quota allocations annually to the various groups within the fishing industry. These allocations are proportionate to the fixed quota allocation (FQA) units (quota entitlements) held by the vessels in each group. Industry groups are allowed to transfer part or all of their annual quota allocations, and there is some scope to transfer FQA units.

The Government do not charge for either annual quota or FQA units. Within the industry, swaps and other forms of trading take place: not all are financially based, and the Government are not involved in financial aspects of such trade. I have therefore made no estimate of the total value of quota entitlements.

Foot and Mouth

Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, for what reason there is a difference between the amount required from the European Commission to assist in defraying the costs of implementing emergency plans to manage the 2001 outbreak of foot and mouth disease and the actual amount agreed by the Commission. [200962]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Commission undertook a full and detailed audit of the UK's claim for re-imbursement following the 2001 foot and mouth disease outbreak. Following the auditors' work, the Commission reported that the valuers engaged by Defra had overvalued the animals prior to slaughter. In addition the EC cited certain "technical and financial inadequacies" as the reason for reducing the UK's claim.

Mr. Luff: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many farms in Worcestershire have been subject to decontamination activity by her Department this year as a result of
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inappropriate burial of material associated with the 2001 foot and mouth epidemic; what the cost of such activity has been; and how many more farms she expects will be subject to similar activity. [201803]

Mr. Bradshaw: Two farms in Worcestershire have been subject to the removal of agricultural waste or pyre ash this year.

The Department has removed buried agricultural waste from one farm, and buried and unburied pyre ash plus a small quantity of scrap metal from another. Agricultural waste, which could not be adequately disinfected, was burned and/or buried on the affected premises during the 2001 FMD outbreak to prevent the risk of disease spread.

The total estimated costs of these operations in Worcester are £355,000.

Based on current knowledge, no other farms are expected to be the subject of similar activity in Worcestershire.

Forest of Dean

Diana Organ: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the progress of the Integrated Rural Development Initiative in the Forest of Dean. [199875]

Alun Michael: The Integrated Rural Development Programme in the Forest of Dean was established in 1999 by the Countryside Agency to test and demonstrate a rural regeneration approach in an area with special landscape, economic and community issues. The Countryside Agency was required to work with the local authorities, the South West Regional Development Agency, Forest Enterprise and other key bodies, as well as with the communities in the Forest. An evaluation of the programme will be undertaken at the end of the project to assess its impact, reporting in March 2006.

Phase one of the programme from April 2000 to March 2003, aimed to focus on the initiation and development of the baseline study work and support for a number of local projects.

Phase 2, known as Building on What's Special began in April 2003 and the work undertaken includes:

It has recently been agreed to draw up a Supplementary Planning Document about the landscape of the Forest of Dean for use in the local planning process, and to construct a website about the programme.
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Horticultural Imports

Alistair Burt: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment she has made of the effectiveness of steps being taken to prevent the introduction of disease through the importation of horticultural products; and if she will make a statement. [200111]

Mr. Bradshaw: In relation to the potential introduction of plant disease through importation of horticultural products, the Public Accounts Committee issued a report on 26 October 2004 to which the Government will shortly be providing a detailed response. Proposals for changes which generally strengthen the regime of plant health import controls have recently been the subject of public consultation, and will be implemented during 2005.

Household Waste

Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what estimate she has made of (a) the total amount of household waste going to landfill in each of the last three years and (b) the proportions within this total accounted for by (i) fit for purpose food and (ii) packaging. [202959]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 7 December 2004]: The amounts of municipal waste going to landfill in England in each of the three years for which data is available are shown in the table:
Municipal waste going to landfill

Million tonnes

There are no estimates available on the amounts of fit for purpose food and packaging within these totals.

Around 90 per cent. of municipal waste comes from households. It is estimated that just over four million tonnes of household waste produced in England is kitchen waste, or approximately 17 per cent. of total arisings.

The Government are currently consulting on a waste data strategy, designed to improve the quality of waste data in the interests of all potential users.

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