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Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria will be used in making appointments to the proposed carbon committee; what funding will be provided for the committee; and what measures will be put in place to ensure transparency in its operation. 
Ian Pearson: As my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said in his statement to the House on 30 October concerning the Stern Review, at Official Report, column 28, the details of the carbon committee will be set out when the climate change Bill is published in due course. The Government want to ensure the widest possible debate in the House and across the country about the contents of the Bill.
Mr. Rob Wilson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the annual carbon emissions of each region of the UK, broken down by source of emissions. 
Ian Pearson: Estimates of annual carbon emissions from each country in the UK, broken down by source, for 2003, are available in Greenhouse gas inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for 1990-2003 available at:
Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to encourage innovation in new technologies (a) for domestic appliances and (b) in the construction industry to combat climate change. 
Ian Pearson: The Government are fully committed to raising product standards and encouraging consumers to use the most energy efficient domestic appliances. Progress is being made by a combination of policy measures including product information (energy labels), minimum standards, and the promotion of best practice. The Market Transformation Programme (MTP), which supports the development and implementation of UK Government policy on sustainable products, is in the process of applying detailed policy action plans for each sector. They will set out an innovation roadmap by which the Government and industry can work together to deliver more sustainable products. Further information on the MTPs work on domestic appliances is available at: www.mtprog.com.
In June, Defra hosted the 2006 Energy Efficiency in Domestic Appliances and Lighting Conference (EEDAL 06) to advance international co-operation and new initiatives on energy efficient domestic appliances. Further details on the EEDAL 06 can be found at: http://www.livegroup.co.uk/EEDAL.
A major revision of the Building Regulations in April 2006 raised overall energy efficiency standards and changed the method of showing compliance to align with the EU Energy Performance of Buildings Directive. This new approach and associated calculation tools encourage the use of low carbon technologies such as solar panels and wind generators. However, because Building Regulations are written in terms of functional requirements, individual technologies are not specified.
The Building Regulations set minimum standards for new construction but the Government are encouraging builders to do more. The Code for Sustainable Homes will set standards for new developments above those currently prescribed by the Building Regulations. The code will not be mandatory across all housing sectors, although all new publicly-funded development will need to meet code level 3. In order to further promote on-site energy generation, new homes that use renewable technology will gain extra points in the code.
We are also reviewing the planning rules with a view to reducing the restrictions for small scale renewable systems. The Government also fund a grant scheme, run by the Energy Savings Trust, to encourage the voluntary take-up of renewable energy. This will provide industry with manufacturing, supply and installation experience, increase public awareness and drive down the market cost of renewables.
Since 2001, the Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) has funded a number of research projects under both its former Partners in Innovation Construction Research Programme, and more latterly under the DTI Technology Programme, aiming to assist the construction sector in its transition to the use of technologies to minimise the impact of climate change on buildings.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much his Department paid to external consultants in each year since 1997; and what the budget is for external consultants in 2007-08. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department came into being in July 2001. Information held centrally on how much the core-Department spent on external consultants in each of the last five years will be placed in the House of Commons Library by 10 November 2006. The budget for external consultants in 2007-08 is yet to be determined.
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average hourly rate paid by his Department to external consultants was in each year since 1997, broken down by agency. 
Barry Gardiner: The Department came into being in July 2001. Information is not held centrally on the average hourly rate paid to external consultants in each year since 1997, broken down by agency. The information could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Lady Hermon: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when he will answer the letter dated 31st May from the hon. Member for North Down in relation to a future visit to Northern Ireland. 
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under what legislation the milk and dairy products industry has been regulated since 1997; what estimate he has made of the number of breaches of such regulations in each year since 1997, broken down by (a) region and (b) legislative instrument; and if he will make a statement. 
I have assumed that the references to regulations relate to the food hygiene legislation applicable to milk and dairy products establishments. Beyond hygiene, milk and dairy products are, as with other foods, required to be compliant with general food law and legislation including labelling, contaminants, additives and composition. Information relating to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland is a matter for the devolved administrations.
I am advised by the Food Standards Agency that between 1997 and 31 December 2005 the hygiene legislation under which milk and dairy products establishments were regulated in England was the Dairy Products (Hygiene) Regulations 1995 (as amended) and the Milk and Dairies (General) Regulations 1959 (as amended). On 1 January 2006, new and directly applicable EC food hygiene legislation came into effect which superseded this legislation (Regulation (EC) No. 852/2004 and Regulation (EC) No. 853/2004).
The Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate (DHI) is part of the State Veterinary Service (an executive agency of DEFRA) and acts on behalf of the agency in administering and
enforcing the hygiene legislation at registered milk production holdings prior to processing such as pasteurisation, bottling or the manufacture of dairy products. Local authorities enforce the regulations in establishments undertaking activities in relation to milk beyond the remit of the DHI and the remainder of the dairy industry.
The Agency has obtained information from the DHI relating to inspections of registered milk production holdings carried out in England during the period requested, which is set out in the table. I am advised that information is not collected in such a way that allows it to be presented by region.
|Number of inspections||Dairy hygiene inspectorate costs||Number of final notices of intention to cancel registration issued|
|(1) 2000-01 and 2001-02 figures are reduced due to the suspension of inspections during the foot and mouth outbreak.|
Dairy Hygiene Inspectorate
Given the remit of the DHI, the final notices to which reference is made in the table will have been issued due to breaches of the hygiene legislation. The agency was advised that the DHI does not collect other information on breaches centrally.
Information on local authority food law enforcement, including breaches resulting in formal enforcement action, is collected by the agency under monitoring arrangements to satisfy European requirements. However, this does not provide the level of detail required for information on milk and dairy products nor does the agency collect information on the costs of these activities.
There are currently approximately 1,100 approved dairy products establishments in England which are required to be inspected in accordance with the statutory Food Law Code of Practice at a minimum frequency of six months.
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of his Departments databases are (a) wholly and (b) partly operated by external organisations or individuals; and which organisations and individuals own those databases. 
Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which databases operated by his Department are located (a) wholly and (b) partly outside the UK; and where each of those databases and parts of databases is located. 
Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many journeys by air were made by (a) Ministers and (b) special advisers in his Department within the UK in each of the last three years; and how much such travel cost in each category in each year. 
2004eight journeys were made by Ministers at a total cost of £3,014; no journeys by special advisers;
200512 journeys were made by Ministers at a total cost of £2,448. Three journeys by special advisers at a cost of £675; and
2006three journeys were made by Ministers at a total cost of £585.
Barry Gardiner: The main threats facing rhinoceroses are loss of habitat and illegal poaching for their horn which is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. To address the threat to the species from international, commercial trade, the black rhino has been listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) since 1977. The UK has consequently banned all trade in rhinoceros products.
In addition, through the Darwin Initiative, DEFRA has funded a recently-completed project in Kenya to develop a team of researchers and field personnel whose aim is to increase the numbers of black rhinos in the wild (£175,000). We have also funded recent research into plant alternatives to traditional Chinese medicine ingredients like rhinoceros horn and tiger bone (£67,500). This year we have also contributed £30,000 to the IUCN African Rhino Specialist Group to facilitate collaboration in rhinoceros conservation and trade issues including the fight against illegal trade.
Barry Gardiner: DEFRA has provided funding through the Darwin Initiative to projects in Ethiopia that specifically help protect native species of plants and animals, although to date none of these have been on the native Ethiopian wolf.
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Natural England partnership has reported to his Department on the outcomes of the project to look at the options to improve the way people can gain access to and enjoy the English coastline; when his Department expects to begin a public consultation based on this report; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: Natural England has been asked to come forward with its recommendations on improving access to the English coast before the end of December 2006. I expect the public consultation to be issued in early 2007.
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