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Climate-based Conflict

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions
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she has had with the (a) Ministry of Defence and (b) Foreign and Commonwealth Office on the impact of climate-based conflict, with particular reference to Darfur. [206808]

Mr. Morley: The Department has been engaged in the preparatory work for a study on countries at risk of instability being undertaken by the Prime Minster's Strategy Unit, which identifies climate change as one of a range of threats to stability.

Dobson Photospectrerra Data

Ms Atherton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what advice she has received from the scientific community regarding the cessation of the compilation of Dobson Photospectrerra data from Camborne; [207984]

(2) what consultation she undertook before stopping research into ozone depletion at Camborne Meteorological Office; [207985]

(3) for how many years the UK Government has collected data using the Dobson Spectrerra; [207986]

(4) what analysis has been done of the data collected by the Dobson Photospectrerra; and if she will make a statement; [208092]

(5) what representations she has received about the discontinuance of the collection at Camborne of data concerning ozone levels; [208100]

(6) what steps she is taking to collect data in the south-west of England about ozone depletion. [208101]

Mr. Morley: The Government are satisfied that the current arrangements for collecting ozone data are more cost-effective than those applying previously, and meet scientific and public information needs.

The Met Office, for the UK Government, has collected Dobson Photospectrometer data since 1957. Measurements at Camborne were taken between 1957 and 1967 and then between 1989 and 2003. In the intervening period, measurements were taken at Bracknell, near Reading. There have been continuous measurements at Lerwick since 1957.

Ozone measurements are also available from satellites and give complete coverage for the UK, although a few local measurements in an area the size of the UK are needed to calibrate the satellite data and to provide long-term data for analysing trends.

At the renewal of the monitoring contracts in 2003, bidders were asked to propose a rationalisation of both the ozone and ultra-violet radiation (UV) monitoring networks. Following an analysis of network requirements, provided by Imperial College, it was decided to move measurements of ozone from Camborne to Reading, for the following reasons:

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A separate formal consultation was not undertaken but was not considered necessary as the open tender process, which included key players in ozone monitoring, sought guidance on the monitoring requirement.

The Met Office expressed the view to Defra that the measurements at Camborne should have been continued; but Defra, in reviewing all of the advice it had received, concluded that on balance relocation to Reading was the best option.

The daily ozone data are analysed on a weekly basis, and the results, including those covering the south-west, are placed on a publicly accessible website ( The record at Lerwick over the last 30 years shows a decreasing trend in overall ozone levels. However, there is some indication of ozone recovery in the last 10 years at both Lerwick and Camborne. If any short-term low or high ozone events occur, further analysis is carried out to ascertain the causes. Records are sent to international data centres where they are made available for studies to identify global ozone trends.

EU Constitution

Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of whether a high level of protection and improvement of the environment as required by Article 1–3(3) of the proposed EU constitution has been attained by (a) the United Kingdom and (b) each other EU member state. [208250]

Mr. Morley: Article 2 of the existing Treaty establishing the European Community sets the promotion of a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment as one of the tasks of the EC. Similarly, Article 1–3(3) of the treaty establishing a constitution for the European Union sets working for the sustainable development of Europe as one of the objectives of the EU, with a high level of protection and improvement of the quality of the environment as one of the bases for this. The UK welcomes this. The environment is an area where considerable progress has been made by EU member states working together.

In relation to work in the UK, on 8 December 2004, Defra published its five year strategy, "Delivering the Essentials of Life". This sets out Defra's achievements, vision and plans for work over the coming years.

At EU level, the sixth Environmental Action Programme, adopted in 2002, set out priority areas for work over a 10 year period; work on more detailed thematic strategies covering key areas is in progress, and these are due to be published by the European Commission in 2005.

Assessment of the state of the environment in other member states is a matter for those states, and for relevant EU institutions such as the European Commission, European Environment Agency (EEA) and Eurostat where collating such information lies within their remit. The EEA's "Kiev report" published in April 2003 provides an in-depth report on the state of the environment in Europe. The documents referred to can be found in the Library of the House.
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Government Decontamination and Recovery Service

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) on what date (a) it was decided to establish the Government Decontamination and Recovery Service, (b) the service began operations and (c) the services will be fully operational; [208341]

(2) what the relationship is of the Government Decontamination and Recovery Service with other Government agencies with overlapping functions; and if she will make a statement; [208342]

(3) what the command structure is of the Government Decontamination and Recovery Service; and which official from her Department heads the service; [208343]

(4) how many staff are employed in the Government Decontamination and Recovery Service, broken down by (a) permanent employees, (b) temporary staff and (c) contractors; [208344]

(5) what the (a) remit and (b) budget is of the Government Decontamination and Recovery Service. [208345]

Mr. Morley: As I announced on 25 March 2004, the Government are actively considering setting up a decontamination and recovery service. Progress has been made and the Government expect to make a further announcement on 25 January.

Kyoto Commitments

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what efforts the UK is making within the EU to ensure that those EU countries that are off-target with their Kyoto commitments make better progress to meet their commitments; and if she will make a statement. [207213]

Mr. Morley: Demonstrating progress towards the EU's Kyoto Protocol target of a 8 per cent. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2012 will be a priority for the UK's presidency of the EU later this year. We are taking every opportunity to raise the issue in discussions with other member states, and stressing the importance of implementing measures to meet their commitments. We will also press for harmonisation across member states with respect to the scope of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme for Phase 2 (2008–12).

The latest emission projections from member states suggest that a combination of existing domestic policies and measures, additional policies and measures which are already in an advanced state of planning, and emission credits gained through the Kyoto Protocol's project-based mechanisms will deliver a total EU-15 emissions cut of 8.6 per cent. by 2010. We will continue to review and monitor progress towards this goal.

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