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Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons on the Sex Offenders Register in Northern Ireland have re-offended whilst on licence in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hanson: Probation Board for Northern Ireland have responsibility for the post-release supervision of persons subject to life licences and sex offender licences. Of the 17 persons released in the last five years who are subject to a life licence or sex offender licence, and who are also subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, one person has been reconvicted.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland how many persons on the Sex Offenders Register in Northern Ireland on licence have had their licence revoked in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Hanson: The Probation Board for Northern Ireland has responsibility for the post-release supervision of persons subject to life licences and sex offender licences. In the last five years, three offenders on sex offender licences who were also subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003 were returned to prison for breach of licence conditions, two in 2001 and one in 2002. There have been no licences revoked in any of the last five years in respect of those subject to a life licence or sex offender licence who are also subject to the notification requirements of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
David Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland pursuant to the answer of 5 July 2006, Official Report, column 1187W, on the Victims March (Dublin), what assurances he sought from Ministers of the Irish Republic (a) about the safety of Northern Ireland citizens while in Dublin in the future and (b) regarding the prosecution of people identified as being involved in the attacks upon citizens of Northern Ireland in Dublin on 25 February 2006. 
Mr. Hain: This was an unfortunate but isolated incident. I understand 41 people were arrested during the disorder that occurred on 25 February: the decision to prosecute is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions. The safety of Northern Ireland citizens, whether in Dublin or Belfast or anywhere else, remains paramount for me and of course I discussed this and keep in touch with Ministers of the Irish Republic.
Mr. Bradshaw: Numbers of abandoned vehicles for each local authority were primarily collected from 2000-01 to 2003-04 from the DEFRA Municipal Waste Management Survey and from WasteDataFlow in 2004-05. Results from authorities that responded have been placed in the Library of the House. Numbers were not collected prior to 2000-01 and results for 2005-06 are not yet available.
Ian Pearson: I understand carbon islands to mean the production of biomass grown by hydroponics on artificial islands in tropical seas. My Department has not evaluated any research on this idea as a way to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what targets have been set for Government departments consumption of (a) gas, (b) electricity and (c) all power from renewable sources. 
Ian Pearson: On 12 June the Prime Minister and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs announced new sustainable operations targets for the Government estate. They replace the previous targets in the Framework for Sustainable Development on the Government Estate, and will drive improvements in the way Departments manage their land and buildings sustainably.
These new commitments do not set a separate target for gas and electricity consumption on the Government estate. Instead Government have set targets on overall energy efficiency, carbon emissions and carbon
neutrality, all of which will apply from April 2006. A table of the new targets follows as annex A. In addition, the existing commitment that Government Departments should source at least 10 per cent. of their electricity from renewables will remain in place until 2008.
Departmental performance against Government estate targets, including carbon emissions and energy efficiency, has been published in annual Sustainable Development Government Reports. The last report was produced by the Sustainable Development Commission, the independent watchdog, in December 2005. It covered the reporting period April 2004 to March 2005 and is available at: http://www.sd-commission.org.uk/watchdog.
|Annex A: Targets for sustainable operations on the Government estate( 1)|
|(1) Vision for the Government estate: A sustainably managed estate which is modern, resource efficient, with low energy buildings; well conserved and managed land; efficient use of space and ways of working; and where the principles of sustainable development are embedded into our working practices. Note: The above sustainable operational targets to apply for the reporting period April 2006-March 2007|
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many (a) letters of warning, (b) infringement notices and (c) prosecutions have been instigated by the European Commission against his Department since May 1997 in relation to environmental directives, including failure to meet transposition dates; and what the circumstances were of each case. 
Ian Pearson: DEFRA was created in June 2001. Between 1 June 2001 and 30 June 2006 the Department was the lead Department for 60 environmental infringement proceedings initiated by the European Commission. The following table lists these by year:
A member state can be infracted for a number of different reasons falling into the following categories: late transposition, poor transposition and implementation issues. The infraction procedure begins with an initial pre-litigation stage, during which the Commission issues first a letter of formal notice (article 226 letter).
Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what mechanisms exist to ensure the accuracy of (a) national and (b) international reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. 
Ian Pearson: Annex I Parties to the Kyoto Protocol are required to submit Greenhouse Gas Inventories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) every year. These inventories are compiled using methodologies devised by the International Panel on Climate Change and agreed by the UNFCCC. Once submitted, the inventories are scrutinised by international experts to ensure their completeness and accuracy.
In the UK, inventory data are subject to an audited quality control and assurance programme. This ensures that the data sources are reliable and quality checked, that the choice of methodologies is transparent, and that data are consistent over time, complete, comparable, and assessed for uncertainties. When required, methodological changes are made to take account of new data sources, new guidance from the IPCC, relevant work by other international organisations, new research, or specific research programmes sponsored by DEFRA. Such improvements to the methodology are applied retrospectively to ensure a consistent time series of emissions.
DEFRA periodically tests the accuracy of key source sector estimates in the national inventory by undertaking independent peer review. Reviews completed to date include carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion and agriculture. DEFRA also funds independent verification of the reliability of the emissions estimates by combining measurements of the concentrations of selected greenhouse gases at Mace Head in Ireland and a model of atmospheric transport developed by the Met Office.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made in the UK towards the Montreal Protocol aim of phasing out the use of methyl bromide. 
Ian Pearson: Under the Montreal Protocol, methyl bromide use was phased out in developed countries from 2005, except for quarantine and pre-shipment purposes, and critical uses agreed by the parties to the Protocol and (in the EU) licensed by the European Commission.
In 2006, agreed UK critical uses amount to up to 33 tonnes. This shows a significant downward trend of less than half the previous amount licensed for 2005 (some 70 tonnes). 2006 is the last year that methyl bromide will be used by the agricultural sector in soil. UK nominations of 11 tonnes for critical uses in 2007 continue the downward trend.
Methyl bromide is an ozone depleting substance and the Government's policy is to support further critical uses only where lack of availability would cause significant market disruption and there are no technical or economically feasible alternatives.
Mr. Horam: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department (a) provides assistance for and (b) promotes the development of alternatives to (i) sulphuric acid in the cultivation of potatoes and (ii) methyl bromide as a pesticide in agriculture. 
Ian Pearson: The Department does not generally seek to find alternatives to specific uses of chemicals such as those listed, since this is a matter for the industry sectors concerned. However, it is funding a small number of projects, some jointly with industry, on the development of alternatives to methyl bromide, particularly in the horticulture sector.
Additionally, our pesticides research and development programme includes alternative crop protection technologies projects which aim to support Government policy directed at the minimisation of conventional chemical pesticide use. DEFRA's Pesticides Safety Directorate administers a research budget of about £5.5 million per year, of which over £1 million is applied to support this objective.
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