|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the implications for greenhouse gas emissions of the absence of an agreed national allocation plan under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 31 January 2005]: The UK National Allocation Plan (NAP) was submitted to the Commission in April 2004 and was approved on 7 July. The NAP clearly stated that the figure for the total number of allowances to be allocated was provisional pending finalisation of the emissions projections, the review of Climate Change Agreement targets, and the receipt of verified data from installations.
Although we are still awaiting a formal response from the Commission on the proposed amendments to the NAP (submitted 10 November 2004), the EU Emissions Trading Scheme has commenced operation. Under the terms of their greenhouse gas emissions permits which were issued during the course of last year, operators began monitoring their carbon dioxide emissions on 1 January this year. There has been an active market in contracts for future delivery of emissions allowances for some time. UK operators will be able to trade on the spot" market once allowances have been issued, which is anticipated to be at the end of March. We plan to announce the installation allocations in early February which will provide UK operators with greater certainty about their allocation. The delay in trading will not affect the fact that operators covered by the Scheme will be required to surrender allowances in line with their carbon dioxide emissions for 2005, as the first year of Phase 1 of the Scheme.
Other member states have also found the implementation of the scheme challenging. Denmark is the only country which is currently in a position to spot trade, and a number of other member states expect to be in a position to spot trade by the end of February. Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland and Greece are yet to receive approval of their NAP from the European Commission.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what rate of change for entitlements within the Emissions Trading Scheme her Department is prepared to accept to ensure its climate change targets are met. 
The UK National Allocation Plan (NAP) was submitted to the European Commission in April 2004, and was approved in July. The total number of allowances to be allocated was set at 0.7 per cent.
3 Feb 2005 : Column 1023W
below the projected UK emissions 200507. The NAP clearly stated that this figure (total number of allowances) was provisional and based on interim projections.
Following the finalisation of energy projections, UK emissions 200507 are now estimated to be 56 million tonnes CO 2 higher than was estimated in April. The Government have proposed to increase the total number of allowances, but just by 20 million tonnes CO 2 . The effect of this is to increase the level of effort required from our NAP to 5 per cent. below projected emissions, making the UK NAP a more ambitious plan.
The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is one of the measures in place to help us achieve our national goal of a 20 per cent. reduction in CO 2 on 1990 levels by 2010. We hope to use the Climate Change Programme review to determine the number of allowances to be issued to UK installations in Phase 2 of the Scheme (200812).
Roger Casale: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what visits her officials have made since 1997 to (a) Germany, (b) the Netherlands and (c) other EU member states to investigate measures taken to prevent pollution from oil leakage in areas liable to flooding. 
Mr. Morley: Defra officials aim to maintain close links with counterparts in Germany, Netherlands and other EU countries on general flood risk management related issues, but are not aware of any meetings attended where oil leakage was a specific topic for discussion.
Mr. Morley [holding answer 1 February 2005]: We have increased flood defence and coast erosion funding to the Environment Agency and other operating authorities up from £312 million in 199798 and set to rise to £570 million next year and for each of the following two years. However, although building and maintaining physical defences will reduce the risk of flooding, that risk can never be completely eliminated. Plans exist at local, regional and central levels to respond to potential and actual flood events.
In addition to building and maintaining defences, the Environment Agency maintains its own local, regional and national level contingency plans to deal with potential or actual flooding. As part of its remit, the Agency also maintains a flood warning system to ensure as high a level of preparedness as possible by the public and the local, regional and central responders.
At the national level, Defra has the lead Department role for flood emergencies and our Lead Department Plan sets out the co-ordination arrangements at local, regional and central levels for flooding from rivers or the sea. Alongside this Plan other Departments and Agencies maintain their own plans in their areas of responsibility to respond to, for example, the consequences of floods. There are also provisions for
3 Feb 2005 : Column 1024W
Government co-ordination when necessary through the arrangements operated by the Cabinet Office Civil Contingencies Secretariat.
The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 formalises a number of duties on local authorities, the emergency services and other organisations involved, including the Environment agency, in responding to any emergency. Among these are contingency planning and risk assessment for emergencies at the local level, including flooding: for example, local flood response plans were activated in the case of both the Boscastle flood in August last year and the January 2005 Carlisle flood.
The Government have also set up a Regional Resilience Team in each of the English regions to enhance the co-ordination of planning for wide impact events, such as major flooding, and to improve lines of communication between central Government and local responders during the response to an incident. These arrangements worked successfully in relation to the Boscastle and Carlisle floods.
The Environment Agency, with other responders, also carries out a regular programme of exercises to test its capability at all levels. Last year, EA led a national level exerciseExercise Tritonto test the preparedness of organisations at all levels, local, regional and national to a simulated national scale event involving flooding of the East Coast from Lincolnshire to Hampshire, with offsets in Gwent and North Wales. A lessons identified report will be published in the spring.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what response she has made to the recent Royal Society report on GM crops based on the management of GM herbicide tolerant sugar beet. 
Mr. Morley: A paper reporting the results of studies carried out by scientists at Rothamsted Research Broom's Barn entitled Management of genetically modified herbicide-tolerant sugar beet for spring and autumn environmental benefit" was published on 19 January 2005 in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.
We have referred this research paper to the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment and have asked them in particular to consider the implications, if any, for their advice issued on 13 January 2004 on the implications of the farm scale evaluations of herbicide tolerant GM crops.
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|