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Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with his Swedish counterpart on the use of (a) biofuels and (b) biofuel-powered vehicles. [114119]

Ian Pearson: Transport biofuels have been discussed at an EU Environment Council meeting attended by DEFRA’s Secretary of State and the Swedish Environment Minister. Sweden shares our aim to ensure biofuels are produced sustainably.

Bovine TB

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used to determine matters to be referred to the Independent Scientific Group investigating bovine TB; and for what reason gamma interferon was not referred to the group for study. [113320]

Mr. Bradshaw: The terms of reference of the Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB (ISG) enable them to advise, if requested, on any issue related to their work. In addition, the ISG will investigate any topic they consider to be appropriate. Officials attend ISG meetings and refer relevant matters to the group for consideration; all requests for matters to be referred to them are cleared with the Chairman and Secretary in advance.

Discussions were held with the ISG to help inform the development of new arrangements for the increased use of the gamma interferon test for bovine TB. The resulting new policy, which was launched in October last year, was endorsed by the ISG.

British Waterways

Charlotte Atkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the original grant allocation from his Department was for British Waterways in advance of subsequent in year reductions for each year between 2000-01 and 2006-07; and what the grant allocation is for 2007-08. [115165]

Barry Gardiner: The following table shows the grant allocated and the grant actually paid to British Waterways in each year from 2000-01 to 2006-07.

£ million
Original allocation Revised following (in year changes)






















The grant allocation for 2007-08 is the same as 2006-7 after revision.

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Cattle Stocks

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment his Department has made of the relative values of organic and non-organic cattle stocks; and if he will consider proposals to pay enhanced compensation for organic reactors to tuberculosis tests. [114022]

Mr. Bradshaw: The Government recognise that the current table-based cattle compensation system (for tuberculosis, enzootic bovine leukosis, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and brucellosis) is a cause of concern to farmers of organic cattle, and officials are considering representations made.

We have set up the Cattle Compensation Advisory Group (CCAG) to work with the industry to monitor the introduction of the new compensation system. One of the issues the CCAG has considered is the impact of the new arrangements on the organic sector.

Defra and the CCAG are discussing a range of ideas the group has suggested for enhancing the current compensation arrangements. While DEFRA has not ruled out the possibility of changes to the compensation system, they are not inevitable. Any changes would need to be justified and fair to farmers and the taxpayer. They would also need to take account of the extensive evidence about the level of over valuation experienced under the previous system based on individual valuations.

I will write to the hon. Member when I am in a position to provide an update on developments.

Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to the answer of 7 December 2006, Official Report, column 579W, on the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, which tier of local authority is empowered under section 3 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to issue a fixed penalty notice or prosecute for the offence of selling cars on verges. [112878]

Mr. Bradshaw: Section 9 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 defines a ‘local authority’ as:

An ‘authorised officer’, in relation to a local authority, means an employee of the authority who is authorised in writing by the authority for the purposes of giving notices under section 6 of the Act.

Climate Change

Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what total Government funding was for climate change research
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in each of the last five years; who the recipients were; how much funding was allocated to each; and what assessment has been made of the comparative value for money of each recipient’s work. [110412]

Ian Pearson: A sound basis of research to understand the implications of a changing climate is essential to drawing a climate change perspective into decision-making across the whole range of DEFRA’s responsibilities. DEFRA’s climate change research programme analyses the risk of human-induced climate change. It also assesses the potential impacts of climate change and our means of adaptation and mitigation.

DEFRA’s committed spend to those research projects which have some relevance to climate change is given in the following table.

£ million
Financial year DEFRA spending











(1) Provisional.

In addition to spending on projects relating directly to climate change, the figures given in the table also include spending on projects of a cross-cutting nature where climate change may be of secondary importance but still has some relevance.

Details on all the climate change research funded by DEFRA can be found on the DEFRA website at:

Research on climate change funded by DEFRA is assessed through peer-review where relevant both prior to commissioning and after completion. DEFRA staff routinely review the progress and outcome of projects, often with the assistance of independent steering committees. As part of these processes, value for money is evaluated throughout the lifetime of a research project and its translation into policy.

DEFRA also commissions periodic reviews of its research contracts. A technical and scientific review of the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) was carried out in 2005 to assess its performance and identify its priorities for the next five years. The review concluded that UKCIP is performing very effectively with the resources available and therefore represents good value for the current level of investment.

DEFRA’s research budget includes support for the Hadley Centre, which it co-funds with MOD) (contributions of £12.5 million and £3.5 million respectively in 2005-06).

DEFRA and the Ministry of Defence have commissioned a major independent review of the activities of the Hadley Centre. This review is concerned with the scientific output and quality of the Hadley Centre’s activities, as well as structure and engagement with external stakeholders. A final report is due to be published by the end of this month.

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The UK Research Councils support a considerable amount of research that is both directly about climate change or is relevant to climate change. Taken together this is of the order of £400 million over the five years. They have also invested over £190 million over the same period into sustainable and future energy.

Research work of relevance to climate change is also undertaken and funded by the Department for International Development and the Department for Transport. In addition, the Department of Trade and Industry funds research into emerging low carbon technologies.

Council Environmental Programmes

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to help (a) county councils, (b) district and borough councils and (c) parish and town councils become carbon neutral. [112819]

Ian Pearson: The 2006 UK Climate Change Programme (CCP) stated that local authorities (LAs) are likely to have a critical role in achieving our climate change objectives. The CCP included detailed measures, which are intended to help LAs deliver cuts in emissions.

To help LAs reduce their emissions, Carbon Management (from the Carbon Trust) provides a strategic view on how carbon impacts public sector organisations by identifying the risks and opportunities associated with climate change. There is a specialist tailored programme for LAs.

Salix, which is a not-for-profit company set up by the Carbon Trust in 2004, uses government funding of around £20 million to set up ring-fenced recycled loan funds in public sector organisations. Funding is matched by the organisation and used to invest in cost-effective, long-term energy saving projects such as insulation, heating and lighting.

Electric Shock Collars

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what discussions he has had with the Welsh Assembly Government on the banning of electric shock collars for dogs. [112882]

Mr. Bradshaw: I have had no discussions with the Welsh Assembly Government on this issue. However, discussions have taken place at official level.

Environmental Liability Directive

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will clarify the definition of liable body set out in the consultation document on the Environmental Liability Directive. [112881]

Ian Pearson: Under the Environmental Liability Directive either the operator of an occupational activity, or a third party, is liable for preventing or remediating environmental damage. “Operator” is defined as:

“Occupational activity” is defined as:

A third party could be a private individual whose actions have given rise to a threat of or actual environmental damage from an occupational activity despite safety precautions taken by the legitimate operator of that occupational activity.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what criteria were used in deciding which species to include as protected under the terms of the proposals in relation to the Environmental Liability Directive. [113183]

Ian Pearson: The Environmental Liability Directive defines, in Article 2.3(a), the species which fall within its scope. These are species protected under European legislation.

The Directive further provides for member states to decide whether or not to bring within its scope species designated for protection under national legislation.


Mr. Burrowes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the relationship is between his Department and Envirowise. [113537]

Mr. Bradshaw: Envirowise is a Government funded programme offering businesses free, independent, confidential advice and support on practical ways to increase profits, minimise waste and reduce environmental impact.

Envirowise has, since its inception in 1994, been jointly funded by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and DFRGTS. However, the financial year 2006-07 sees the last year of financial involvement from the DTI. The programme is currently sponsored by DEFRA with the vast majority of the funding in England, since the financial year 2005-06, coming through recycled landfill tax revenues under the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme.

EU Directives

Mr. Paice: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many EU directives have been transposed by his Department and its predecessor Departments since 1997; and how many of them were transposed beyond the minimum requirements of the original directive. [112690]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA was formed in June 2001. Information relating to DEFRA's predecessor Departments is not held centrally. Between 8 June 2001 and 31 December 2006, 203 EU directives for which DEFRA has responsibility for implementation were adopted. The Department has transposed 153 of these.

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Details of all directives in force can be found on the Eur-Lex database available on the European Union's website at:

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