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Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the economic effects on UK industry of the use of carbon abatement technologies. 
Malcolm Wicks: Work undertaken by the National Economic Research Association (NERA) last year estimated that currently some 38,000 jobs and a turnover of £3 billion per year is attributable to activities in cleaner fossil fuel technologies. The report was not able to quantify the growth in the sector as the result of the increased used of carbon abatement technologies but suggested that both jobs and turnover should rise significantly.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support the Government plan to offer to encourage companies (a) to undertake further research into clean coal technologies, (b) to invest in clean coal technologies for existing coal-fired power plants and (c) to develop new facilities that fully utilise clean coal technologies. 
We have allocated some £20 million from spending round 200506 to 200708 to support carbon abatement technologies which would include cleaner coal technologies. Although there is currently no support for investing in either new or existing plant, we
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have announced £25 million for demonstrating carbon abatement technologies for fossil fuel plant. Also under the climate change programme review we are assessing the possibility of incentives for carbon capture and storage which, if found to be justified, could also encourage investment in these technologies.
Mr. Hood: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to support the development of clean coal technology in (a) the UK and (b) Scotland. 
Malcolm Wicks: The Carbon Abatement Technology Strategy announced on 14 June includes a programme of £25 million to support demonstrations over four years from 2006 and some £20 million over the next three years for R&D support. This support is for the UK as a whole and until the projects have been identified it is not possible separately provide a figure for that part of the funding which would benefit Scotland.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what discussions he has had with the US Department of Energy regarding its FutureGen carbon sequestration initiative. 
Malcolm Wicks: We have had no formal discussions with the US Department of Energy about FutureGen although under a Collaborative Arrangement we are working with the US on two Cleaner Coal Technology Projects with the UK Government contributing some £3.5 million. We are also currently discussing collaboration on a third project.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the potential for carbon sequestration in the North sea oil fields. 
Malcolm Wicks: The British Geological Survey have estimated that the North sea oil fields have a capacity to store some 5.8 gigatonnes of CO 2 . The publication Review of the Feasibility of Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage in the UK" published in September 2003 provides further information on the potential for storage in North sea's gas fields and aquifers.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much the Government have spent on research and development into carbon sequestration technology in the past five years. 
Malcolm Wicks: Since 1999 we have committed some £5.8 million towards a variety of R&D projects which would contribute to the development of carbon capture and storage technologies.
Huw Irranca-Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry of what (a) public and (b) private proposals in the UK (i) to develop new power plants that utilise coal gasification technology and (ii) to retrofit existing coal-fired power plants to utilise coal gasification technology he has been informed. 
To date we are aware of two private proposals to develop power plant using IGCC technology. One is to develop a plant in Teesside and the
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second to build a plant on the site of the Hatfield Colliery. Both projects are still at the feasibility stage. We are not aware of any retrofit proposals.
John Mann: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what reports have been received since January 2004 from Coal Liabilities Unit staff responsible for updating the storybooks that detail where improvements have been made to claims handlings; and if he will publish these storybooks. 
Malcolm Wicks: Regular reports are provided to the Department to allow us to monitor the effectiveness of the claims handling process. These contain commercial information and are not appropriate for publication.
Mrs. Dean: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans he has to issue guidance on effective commissioning for those in the public and voluntary sectors who are commissioning work from external consultants. 
Alan Johnson: I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given by my hon. Friend, the Financial Secretary on 27 June 2005, Official Report, column 1286W.
For my own Department comprehensive guidance to staff on the effective commissioning of Consultancy and Professional Services was issued to all staff via the DTI intranet in 2004. A pamphlet A Brief Guide to Engaging Consultants" was published in January 2005 and was distributed to all staff in DTI London offices. Specific Budgeting and Accounting Guidance has also been issued to all Director Generals and their finance staff.
Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 23 June 2005, Official Report, columns 116263W, on Corporate Social Responsibility, how the sums allocated to corporate social responsibility initiatives in each year have been spent. 
Alun Michael: DTI made the following allocations to Corporate Social Responsibility for the relevant years:
CSR Budget for 200304: £330,000
CSR Budget for 200405: £369,000
CSR Budget for 200506: £500,000. Spend to date is £91,000
Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when he will reply to the letter from the hon. Member for the Isle of Wight (a) concerning outstanding correspondence, dated 10 December 2004 and (b) concerning Royal Mail, dated September 2004. 
Malcolm Wicks: We do not appear to have received the correspondence dated 10 December 2004 referred to by the hon. Member. If the hon. Member would forward copies of this correspondence to me, we will respond with all due urgency.
It would appear that due to an administrative oversight a reply to the hon. Member's correspondence of September 2004 was not issued. A reply will be sent within the next few days along with a sincere apology.
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