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11 Nov 2005 : Column 833W—continued

Bird Markets

Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government had plans to ban bird markets, fairs and shows prior to the European Commission decision. [27560]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government had discussed with stakeholders, and placed on the Defra website, an analysis of the possible precautionary measures that could be adopted, but there were no plans to ban bird markets, fairs and shows prior to the European Commission decision.

Cars (Air Conditioning)

Mr. Spellar: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment her Department has made of the effects of the use of air conditioning on the (a) fuel efficiency and (b) carbon dioxide emissions of cars. [27429]

Mr. Morley: The 2002 report by TNO Automotive for the European Commission, "Options to integrate the use of mobile air conditioning systems and auxiliary heaters into the emission type approval test and the fuel consumption test for passenger cars" found that in Northern Europe an average car fitted with an air conditioner consumed an extra 0.21 litres per 100
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kilometres. This corresponds to an additional fuel requirement of about 3 per cent. on average fuel consumption for a new car sold today. Carbon dioxide emissions are almost directly proportional to fuel consumption implying that the average vehicle would see a carbon dioxide penalty of about 5g/km over its lifetime.

Circus Animals

Mr. Byers: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will introduce legislation to ban the use of animals in circuses. [27059]

Mr. Bradshaw [holding answer 10 November 2005]: There are no plans to ban the use of animals in circuses in the absence of evidence that it is not possible to meet their welfare needs in a circus environment. However, the introduction of a welfare offence under the Animal Welfare Bill will require the person responsible for an animal to take reasonable steps to ensure its welfare. In addition we propose to overhaul the existing legislation in relation to performing animals. We consider that our proposed changes will lead to significant improvements in the welfare of animals used in circuses.

Emissions Trading Scheme

Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the progress being made towards the inclusion of aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, with particular reference to (a) the date this is likely to occur and (b) the emissions ceiling to be applied. [27910]

Mr. Morley: The European Commission adopted a Communication on reducing the climate change impact of aviation, favouring the inclusion of the climate impact of aviation into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). They aim to bring forward a legislative proposal by the end of 2006. This is a key step in progressing work on this agenda and we have made this a priority for the UK Presidency of the EU. Our aim is to reach a consensus on the way forward at the December Environment Council.

An emissions ceiling or cap like other scheme details will be subject to negotiation with other member states. The Commission have set up an Aviation Working Group under the European Climate Change Programme, which will begin to consider the cap and allocation methodology at its meeting on 17 February.

Energy Efficiency

Peter Law: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will place in the Library copies of papers distributed at the conference jointly held in London with the European Commission on 2 November entitled Europe and an Energy Efficient World: Acting and Learning Together; what assessment she has made of the benefits which will accrue to companies in (a) Wales and (b) Blaenau Gwent from the new initiatives proposed; and if she will make a statement. [25863]

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Mr. Morley: Conference proceedings are being collated in time for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 11 and COP/MOP1) in Montreal, which commences on 28 November. I have asked for copies to be placed in the Library. All papers will be placed on the conference website: together with the many case studies that participants have forwarded to us.

The purpose of the conference was to bring together representatives from a wide range of countries and with a wide range of backgrounds in energy efficiency and to learn from the richness of their experiences. The conference considered policy issues surrounding the promotion of energy services, better products standards and labelling and how better to engage with and involve citizens in energy efficiency. Summary papers of the discussions will be used to inform several activities.

It will inform debate on the European Commission's Green Paper on Energy Efficiency; the development of the EU Action Plan on Energy Efficiency and the wider EU framework of legislation and programmes, including R&D into energy efficiency, which will have a direct impact on UK energy efficiency policy and hence potentially on individual firms and businesses. No assessment has been made of the specific benefits to companies in Wales or Blaenau Gwent.

It will inform the UK's preparations for the UN Commission on Sustainable Development's review of the energy commitments in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation in 2006–07.

Furthermore, members of the Task Force on Sustainable Products under the UNEP Framework Programme on Sustainable Consumption and Production were present at the conference and used the debate on international product policy to inform their meeting held on 4 November in London.

We will use the conclusions in our discussions on practical measures to support our G8 commitments to increase efforts on energy efficiency domestically and across the world. We will also ensure that the conference proceedings are circulated to G8 colleagues, in recognition of the importance of energy efficiency in the Gleneagles Plan of Action.

Environmental Noises

Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when Directive 2002/49/EC on assessment and management of environmental noises will be transposed into UK law. [27586]

Mr. Bradshaw: Following public consultation earlier on in the year, the adoption of regulations for the transposition of the environmental noise directive (2002/49/EC) in England is currently being finalised. A draft of the regulations is currently being sent out to environmental noise specialists for a short, technical consultation. This was considered a useful further step to take in light of the very technical nature of the subject matter. Following the conclusion of the second consultation around the end of November, the draft regulations will be finalised and then laid before Parliament. The Government are working towards an adoption date of the end of this year/beginning of next.
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Greenhouse Gasses

Mr. George Howarth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate she has made of the level of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the powering of street lights in 2004–05. [28075]

Mr. Morley: The 2005 Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES) indicates that electricity consumption by public lighting was 1,991 Gigawatt-hours in 2004. This implies that street lighting was responsible for emissions of about 0.3 million tonnes of carbon in 2004.

Warm Front Scheme (Milton Keynes)

Mr. Lancaster: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many residents in the North-East Milton Keynes constituency were (a) eligible for and (b) received grants under the Warm Front Scheme in each of the last five years. [27202]

Mr. Morley: Information on the exact number of residents in North-East Milton Keynes eligible for Warm Front is not available. However, on the basis of the statistical modelling used by the Warm Front Scheme Manager it is estimated that around 4,800 households in North-East Milton Keynes could currently be eligible for assistance from the Scheme.

Between the launch of the Warm Front Scheme in June 2000 and the end of March 2005, the number of households assisted in each year in Nort-East Milton Keynes are as follows:
Households assisted

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