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SCA/SCE(R) represents actual spend by the council, which has been approved for long-term support through the Department for Communities and Local Government revenue funding mechanism for local authorities. This method of funding local authority flood and coastal erosion capital improvement projects has been replaced by 100 per cent. direct grant from DEFRA from April 2006.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to assess the way in which genetically modified organisms are regulated; and if he will examine the current operation of the Advisory Committee on Releases into the Environment. 
Ian Pearson: The European Commission has recently undertaken reviews of the main pieces of EU legislation concerning the deliberate release of genetically modified organisms. The Government will take note of the results of these reviews.
We are, at present, satisfied with the way that the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) operates. ACRE is included in a general review being undertaken by DEFRA of its non-executive bodies.
Mr. Gregory Campbell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact on the environment of the regular recharging of mobile telephones. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRAs Market Transformation Programme (MTP) estimates that in 2005 there were nearly 140 million external power supplies of the type used to charge mobile technology such as telephones and digital music players in use in the UK.
Because the power consumed by external power supplies when charging appliances varies significantly with the type and size of appliance and the degree to which the appliance connected to it is already charged no reliable information is available on the impact on the environment of the regular recharging of mobile phones.
However, the MTP has calculated that external power supplies use around 3.4Twh annually while they remain plugged in but not connected to an appliance or when the appliance has reached full-charge. Of this total approximately 1.6Twh is estimated to be attributed to mobile phone chargers.
Encouragingly, all of the major suppliers of mobile phones are signatories of the European Commissions Code of Conduct for the Energy Performance of External Power Supplies which sets a voluntary commitment on manufacturers to supply chargers which meet a minimum level of performance in both standby and charge modes. Aside from a small percentage of older mobile phones (sold before the Code of Conduct was established) the
large majority of mobile phones are now supplied with chargers which consume 1W or under while in standby or a no-load condition. In time this will reduce the total UK standby consumption of mobile phones by over 50 per cent.
Lynne Featherstone: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much carbon dioxide was released into the air by British industries in each of the past five years. 
Ian Pearson: The following table shows carbon dioxide emissions in megatonnes released by British industries from 2000 to 2004. Data for 2005 is not yet available. An average annual amount of CO2 emissions of 307.60804 megatonnes was released over five years.
|Total emissions in carbon kilotonnes||Percentage change between years||Percentage change from base line year (1990)|
Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to prevent late application penalties being handed down to farmers who have not yet received their single farm payment scheme application forms. 
An EU Regulation has been adopted which provides for all 2006 SPS claims to be accepted without penalty until 15 June. This extra time
above and beyond the extension to 31 May will mean that around 4,000 farmers will not now be penalised.
Mr. Laws: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in how many cases claimants have disputed the full or interim Single Farm Payments made to them since April 2005. 
Barry Gardiner: The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) operates a formal appeal procedure to deal with appeals from customers about decisions reached by RPA which affect the amount of payment that they receive. To date 112 SPS related appeals have been received since payments began. In addition, the appeal procedure has dealt with 181 appeals against the Moorland Line and 280 appeals against the historic element of the SPS prior to payments being made.
Mr. Davey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the likely (a) environmental and (b) economic impact on (i) South West London and (ii) London of Thames Waters failure to meet its leakage reduction target. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has 16 UK officials currently based in Afghanistan. Fourteen are based in Kabul, one in Badakhshan and one in Helmand. These are listed in the following table and are broken down by job function.
One additional post in Kabul (Economist) and one in Kandahar (Development Adviser) are vacant. Two
additional official positions will move from London to Kabul in the next three months (Governance Adviser and Economist). This makes a total planned complement of 20 staff in Afghanistan. The DFID Afghanistan team also has UK officials in London, and Afghan staff in Kabul, and staff from Kabul travel regularly to other provinces (notably Helmand) to support the team there.
The Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit, for which DFID has accounting responsibility, has deployed four UK officials to Helmand at various times in advance of the arrival of other Departments' staff, and has two officials based in Kabul as part of the Strategic Delivery Unit.
Mr. Clifton-Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many farmers have been offered grants to grow alternative crops to poppies in Afghanistan; and how much was paid to those farmers in (a) 2004-05 and (b) 2005-06. 
Hilary Benn: DFID has not paid any grants directly to farmers to grow alternative crops to opium poppies in Afghanistan in 2004-05 and 2005-06. However, DFID does provide support to farmers, through programme and project support. Benefits to farmers from this support include training in new farming techniques, the introduction of alternative crops and identifying potential markets for these crops, distribution of seeds and fertilizer, and support to improve animal health and husbandry.
In recognition of the need to increase the opportunities for farmers to move way from poppy cultivation, DFID has increased its funding for alternative livelihoods from £13 million in financial year 2004-05 to £45 million in 2005-06.
At the same time as developing agricultural opportunities, DFID is also promoting the development of non-farm alternative livelihoods by supporting national programmes of the Government of Afghanistan which are helping to increase access to credit and improve infrastructure for farmers to transport their produce to markets.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what recent estimate he has made of the carbon emissions of his Department; what commitment he has made to reducing such emissions; and if he will make a statement. 
|Tonnes of carbon from UK buildings||Tonnes of carbon from air travel|
DFID is strongly committed to the targets set out in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government estate to reverse the current upward trend in carbon emissions by April 2007 and to reduce emissions by 12.5 per cent. by 2010-11, and by 30 per cent. by 2020.
During the refurbishment of both our UK buildings, we incorporated many energy saving mechanisms and have established Environment Management Systems in both offices. We have 100 per cent. green electricity at both UK offices and we are also currently working with the Carbon Trust to evaluate various options for renewable energy such as Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units. To reduce emissions from air travel we have significantly increased our video-conferencing facilities and actively encourage staff to use them.
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