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Alternative Energy

Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment he has made of the effect of the different tax rates on energy sources on incentives for companies to carry out research to identify alternative sources. [50929]

Malcolm Wicks: The Department has not made a formal assessment of the effect of different tax rates on the incentives for companies to carry out research into alternative sources of energy. The Department does provide financial support for R&D in alternative energy sources.

There is good evidence to suggest that the establishment of a price for carbon, whether by taxation or emissions trading, will impact on incentives for research and innovation and that this can contribute to differences in projected fuel mix and to reduced overall costs for meeting carbon targets.

The Department has published a review of studies looking at the costs of long-term carbon reductions, including the role of innovation and technology change. This study is available at:

Evidence to the Stern review on the economics of climate change from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College Centre for Energy Policy and Technology illustrates the importance of technological change for the economics and policy of climate change. This study is available at:
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Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will require the Financial Reporting Council to publish reports on the weaknesses of all auditing firms inspected by it. [51509]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Government's Review of the Regulatory Regime of the Accountancy Profession, published in 2003, recommended enhancing the monitoring of the audits of listed and other public interest entities through a new independent inspection unit (the Audit Inspection Unit) reporting to the Professional Oversight Board for Accountancy (POBA), a Board of the Financial Reporting Council.

In June 2005 the POBA published the Audit Inspection Unit's findings from its monitoring of the quality of the auditing function of the Big Four firms.

Autumn Performance Report

Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to his Department's 2005 autumn performance report, what steps he proposes to take to meet the target for business investment in research and development of 1.7 per cent. of gross domestic product by 2014. [48413]

Alun Michael: The Government's policies on business investment in research and development can be found in the 10-year Science and Innovation Investment Framework 2004 to 2014 (July 2004), particularly Chapter 4.

We are doing a number of things to encourage business investment in R&D:

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The first annual report for the 10-year science and innovation investment framework was published in July 2005.

Bank of Credit and Commerce International

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry in respect of how many (a) accountants and (b) auditors prosecutions have been sought by his Department for their role in frauds at the Bank of Credit and Commerce International; and if he will make a statement. [49834]

Mr. Sutcliffe: The Department of Trade and Industry was not the Prosecution Authority responsible for the above named matter. The Serious Fraud Office was the relevant Authority and the answer is therefore nil.


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what the total value of imports was from Belarus to the UK in (a) 1997, (b) 2000 and (c) 2005. [49062]

Ian Pearson: Information on the UK's imports of goods from Belarus is not yet available for the whole of 2005. The latest data available is for the period January to November 2005. This is provided in the following table:
UK imports of goods from Belarus

£000 (current prices)
January to November 2005244,824

H M Revenue and Customs Overseas Trade Statistics, OTS1.

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Mr. Austin Mitchell: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will introduce legislation requiring companies to disclose annually the amount of their carbon dioxide emissions. [49728]

Mr. Morley: I have been asked to reply.

There are no plans to introduce legislation that will specifically require companies to disclose information on their carbon emissions.

However, from April 2005 quoted and large companies must produce a business review in their Directors' report, which must include information on environmental matters to the extent necessary for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the business. In addition, the Government
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are currently consulting on company narrative reporting requirements in the context of the Company Law Reform Bill.

The Government recently produced 'Environmental Reporting Guidelines—Key Performance Indicators' that can assist companies to identify and report on the most significant environmental impacts to the company.

Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will introduce proposals to require gas and electricity companies to publish in consumers' bills the relevant carbon dioxide emissions of their use of energy. [50604]

Malcolm Wicks: Under fuel mix disclosure provisions inserted into electricity supply licences by regulations under the European Communities Act, suppliers are required to calculate and make available to consumers information on the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced for each kWh of electricity generated.

No equivalent provision exists for gas. However interested consumers could calculate the information themselves based on energy consumption information included in their gas bill and carbon emission factors contained in Defra environmental reporting guidelines.

The Government have no plans to introduce further requirements in this area.

Citizens Juries

Mr. Wills: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on how many occasions his Department consulted citizens' juries on departmental policies in the last five years; in how many of those consultations the recommendations of the citizens' jury differed from existing departmental policy; and on how many occasions departmental policy was changed to reflect the recommendations of the citizens' jury. [46242]

Alan Johnson: DTI is committed to best practice on consultation in line with the Cabinet code of practice.

DTI's own consultation standards exceed that code in requiring at least one additional form of consultation to ensure full participation in policy making from a diversity of individuals and organisations. Non-written approaches to consultation used routinely by DTI include national and regional focus groups, stakeholder workshops, listening events, web forums, targeted leaflet campaigns, road shows and exhibitions.

Citizens' jury is another example of this and was used in the DTI consultation Work and Families: Flexibility and Choice in 2004. The results were considered as part of the overall consultation exercise and are discussed in the Government Response to that consultation:

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