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Animal Protection (European Legislation)

Mr. Hayes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on planned legislation at European Communities level on animal protection; what target groups will be approached by Eurobarometer surveys established in preparation of such legislation under Commission decision 2004/920/EC of 27 December 2004; what the total cost of pre-legislation surveys in this competence will be; and what the role is of Eurobarometer surveys in the legislative process. [215240]

Mr. Bradshaw: The European Commission is expected shortly to publish proposals for a directive on the welfare of meat chickens. Detailed negotiations on the directive are likely to take place in the second half of this year, in the UK's presidency.

Commission Decision 2004/921/EC allocates a maximum of €200,000 for a Eurobarometer survey on consumer attitudes towards the welfare of farmed animals. The study will not be targeted at specific groups but will focus on attitudes of the general public across the EU to farm animal welfare issues. The Commission has not published proposals for further surveys at this time.

When preparing proposals for future legislation, the Commission will take into account scientific, veterinary and socio-economic evidence.

Avian Biodiversity

Llew Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent reports she has assessed on reductions in avian biodiversity. [214421]

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Mr. Bradshaw: Defra uses a variety of sources, including the latest monitoring data and research reports to assess avian biodiversity. A long-standing partnership between the statutory conservation agencies, and data providers such as the British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, supports many of the bird monitoring and surveillance schemes currently organised in Britain and Northern Ireland.

The results from different schemes are regularly assessed to provide insight into how bird populations are changing and, where possible, whether recruitment, survival or movement are responsible for the patterns observed. Sources such as the web pages for each species under the heading of Breeding Birds of the Wider Countryside Report ( give summaries of their trends and some interpretations of the probable causes.

Other key sources that Defra uses in monitoring avian biodiversity include the following:

In addition, Defra utilises a wealth of research material on birds, such as the recent review of the effects of climate change on birds (

Bovine Passports

Mr. Roger Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many bovines there are in the UK without valid passports because of late applications; and if she will make a statement. [215604]

Mr. Bradshaw: There are 32,340 animals in the UK without valid passports because of late applications. All have been registered on the Cattle Tracing System and issued with a Notice of Registration. 8,196 animals have since been granted passports following a successful appeal.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on what scientific evidence the target of a 60 per cent. reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 is based. [211757]

Mr. Morley: The European Environment Council stated in 1996 the target of limiting global temperature rise to 2oC above pre-industrial levels, requiring stabilisation of carbon dioxide concentrations in the
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atmosphere at levels below 550ppm. The Environment Council based the target on scientific evidence suggesting that the impacts arising from temperature change greater than 2oC are likely to be severe enough to be classified as dangerous, and therefore to be avoided under the terms of Article 2 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The target has subsequently been reaffirmed, although the science is continually under review to assess the relevance of the target.

The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution supported this level of stabilisation in its report Energy—the Changing Climate, published in June 2000, taking account of the scientific assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The Government's Energy White Paper, published in 2003, accepted the findings of the Royal Commission. The 60 per cent. target is consistent with the emissions reductions needed by 2050 from developed countries if carbon dioxide is to be stabilised at levels below 550ppm, taking emissions from developing countries into account. Greater reductions will be needed beyond 2050. The scientific analysis is discussed in the paper The scientific case for setting a long term emissions reduction target published by Defra in 2003 and available on the Department's website.

Andrew Selous: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress the UK has made in meeting the Government's carbon emissions reduction targets for 2010. [215589]

Margaret Beckett: The UK remains on course to comfortably achieve its target under the Kyoto Protocol, with greenhouse gas emissions about 21 per cent. below base year levels in 2010. The current review of the Climate Change Programme will consider what additional measures are needed to reach our national goal of a 20 per cent. reduction in carbon dioxide by 2010.

Climate Change

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the work her Department is undertaking in respect of adaption policies as a result of climate change. [214220]

Mr. Morley: I assume the hon. Member means to refer to adaptation policies.

The Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change conference convened by the Department from 1–3 February this year built on the Third Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and concluded that there was greater clarity and reduced uncertainty about the impacts of climate change across a wide range of systems, sectors and societies. In many cases the risks identified were more serious than previously thought. This conference underlined the need for urgent work on climate change adaptation as well as mitigation.

At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 10th Conference of the Parties in December 2004, the Department supported negotiations that established the five year Buenos Aires programme of work on adaptation and response
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measures. This includes work on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change as well as provisions for financial support for adaptation in developing countries through UNFCCC funds to which the UK Government contributes. The Department also supports projects in India, China and Africa to provide underlying climate science and impacts assessments to underpin the development of adaptation strategies.

Domestically, a climate change perspective is already incorporated into a number of policy areas, including planning guidance, water resource management plans and health advice. The Department is working with other Government Departments, local authorities and investors to improve awareness and understanding of the implications of climate change and to encourage the development of adaptation strategies. In this context, the Department funds the UK Climate Impacts Programme, which helps organisations to assess their vulnerability to climate change so that they can prepare their own adaptation strategies.

The Department will develop an Adaptation Policy Framework during this year to coordinate efforts on adaptation across Government. Public and private sector organisations at local, regional and national levels will be crucial to the implementation of real adaptation action identified under this framework.

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