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20 Jul 2005 : Column 1709W—continued

CHURCH COMMISSIONERS

Housing Portfolio (London)

Kate Hoey: To ask the hon. Member for Middlesbrough, representing the Church Commissioners what plans the Church Commissioners have to sell off their remaining housing portfolio in London. [13396]

Sir Stuart Bell: Following the recent sale of residential properties at Stoke Newington, Maida Vale and part of the Waterloo estate, the Commissioners have decided to prepare their remaining properties on the Octavia Hill estates in London for sale.

Over the coming months the Commissioners will be compiling information on these properties and this process will most likely take them into the autumn. They will be in a position to offer further information on how the sale will proceed when this stage is complete.

ENVIRONMENT, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS

Biofuels

Mr. Hollobone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on providing further incentives for biofuel production. [12108]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 14 July 2005]: The Department is in regular contact with Treasury Ministers to discuss a whole range of matters related to energy and environmental policy. In addition, my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State, meets regularly with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on a wide range of matters that affect the business of the Department. As with all tax matters, decisions on duty incentives rest with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of whether feed-based sources of BSE continue to be a problem. [14046]


 
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Mr. Bradshaw: An independent review by Professor William Hill FRS, of the University of Edinburgh, was requested by Defra and published on 7 July 2005. The review examined the possible reasons for the cases of BSE occurring since the reinforced feed ban in 1996, together with the control measures being applied by the government. The review's conclusions re-confirmed the elimination of feed-borne sources to be the key to the eradication of BSE, and recommended that risk-based controls and monitoring should be maintained on animals and feed.

The review is available on Defra's internet site on the BSE home-page under 'Latest developments' at: http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/bse/index.html.

Carbon Emissions

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total UK carbon emissions were for (a) commercial buses, (b) other commercial vehicles, (c) cars, (d) trains and (e) UK airlines for the most recent year for which information is available. [12962]

Mr. Morley: The total UK carbon emissions (in mega tonnes), for commercial buses, other commercial vehicles (defined as light goods vehicles and heavy goods vehicles), cars, diesel rail and domestic and international aviation, for 2003, are shown as follows. These data are from the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory published in 2005.

When reporting emissions from rail following internationally agreed reporting guidelines, the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory only covers exhaust emission from diesel trains. Emissions from the generation of electricity at power stations that is used to supply electric trains are covered, separately, under 'power station' emissions.

The aviation emissions refer to all civil aircraft at UK airports, not specifically those from UK airlines.
MtC
Buses0.97
Other commercial vehicles11.68
Cars19.39
Diesel rail0.26
Aviation (domestic and international)8.67

Mr. Brazier: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the annual volumetric change in UK carbon emissions attributable to (a) aviation and (b) road vehicles was for each of themost recent 10 years for which information is available. [12963]

Mr. Morley: The following table shows year on year changes in the volume of emissions of carbon dioxide from 1993–94 to 2002–03, for aviation (domestic and international) and for all road transport. These data are from the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory published in 2005.
 
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Percentage increase

AviationRoad transport
1993–943.380.54
1994–956.33-0.79
1995–966.193.81
1996–976.171.25
1997–9811.13-0.63
1998–998.780.81
1999–200010.15-0.64
2000–01-2.070.05
2001–02-1.712.05
2002–032.49-0.16

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what percentage of the available EU Emissions Trading budget she estimates will be taken up by the aviation sector by 2040. [12555]

Mr. Morley: The European Commission is planning to publish a Communication on reducing the climate change impacts of aviation and has indicated that this may favour emissions trading. The UK has made taking forward this work programme a priority for the UK Presidency of the Council of Ministers. We want to use our Presidency to debate the options and agree a way forward.

At present, it is too early to provide a reliable estimate of the amount of allowances covered by either the EU ETS or the aviation sector within it in 2040. Both of these will depend on a number of factors including the overall number of allowances any additional measures introduced and the detailed design for the inclusion of aviation into the EU ETS. These factors have yet to be specified and will be subject to discussion with other member states.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for what percentage of UK carbon emissions aviation was responsible in (a) 1990 and (b) 2000; and what estimate she has made of the likely percentage in (i) 2010, (ii) 2020, (iii) 2030, (iv) 2040 and (v) 2050 (A) assuming the absence of new policy levels to change behaviour and (B) assuming (A) but with the entry of aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. [12556]

Mr. Morley: The following table shows an estimate of the percentage of total carbon dioxide emissions which aviation is responsible for at each decade from 1990 to 2050 assuming the absence of new policy.
Aviation as a percentage of total CO 2 emissions
19902.7
20005.5
20107.6
202011.5
203015.3
204018.3
205021.2

The 1990 and 2000 figures are based on the latest UK greenhouse gas inventory.

The projections for aviation emissions are based on central case forecasts by the DfT for the Air Transport White Paper.
 
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Projections of UK carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 and 2050 assume the UK will reach its Energy White Paper targets of 20 per cent. and 60 per cent. carbon dioxide emissions reduction from 1990 levels. These do not include international aviation. Projections for 2020, 2030 and 2040 assume linear interpolation of 2010 and 2050 Energy White Paper levels.

The details of aviation's participation in the EU ETS will be decided by what the European Commission proposes, and what is negotiable and practicable.

GM Crops

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures toavoid the unintended presence of genetically modified organisms in other products her Department has taken, with reference to Article 26A of EU Directive 2001/18. [13037]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 July 2005]: Before there is any commercial GM cultivation we plan to have appropriate measures in place to ensure the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops, consistent with Article 26a of Directive 2001/18. No GM crops are expected to be grown here commercially before 2008 at the very earliest.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress she has made in establishing a liability regime in respect of GM crops. [13038]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 July 2005]: Last year we held a number of stakeholder workshops as the first step in consulting on measures to ensure the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops. We plan to issue a full consultation paper on this issue later this year. It will set out options for a possible liability regime in respect of financial losses that might be incurred by non-GM farmers, if their crops have an unintended GM presence above the EU 0.9 per cent. labelling threshold.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what margin of buffer zone, in miles, she estimates is necessary to guarantee zero cross-contamination of non-GM crops by GM crops. [13039]

Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 July 2005]: Non-GM crops can only be cross-pollinated by GM crops of the same or very closely related species. In addition, for some crops like beet or potatoes, cross-pollination does not affect the harvested material, so if a GM variety cross-pollinated a non-GM variety, the produce of the latter would not have any GM content. Pollen produced by crop plants may be dispersed by insects or on the wind. The frequency of cross-pollination events between crops decreases with distance, but it is known that they may occur infrequently over very long distances. This makes it difficult to think in terms of guaranteeing zero cross-contamination by the use of buffer zones.

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what weight her Department gives to (a) environmental and (b) human health considerations in determining its policy on the co-existence of GM and non-GM crops. [13040]


 
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Mr. Morley [holding answer 18 July 2005]: None. GM crops will not be approved for cultivation unless they pass a detailed case-by-case assessment of possible risks to human health or the environment. Co-existence measures are therefore not needed for safety reasons.


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