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19 Mar 2007 : Column 580W—continued

Trooper Williams

Mr. Wallace: To ask the Solicitor-General what the cost was of the (a) prosecution and (b) defence of Trooper Williams in the High Court in April 2005. [128081]

The Solicitor-General: Although there were no criminal hearings before the High Court in this case, I assume the reference to the High Court is to the abuse of process argument by the defence which was heard at the Royal Courts of Justice before Mrs. Justice Hallett on 21 to 23 February 2005. That defence application was dismissed. The CPS then considered the matter and at a hearing in April 2005 before the Crown court offered no evidence.

The total CPS costs in this case were £28,195.24. This breaks down as follows:

No witnesses were called and so no witness costs were incurred. The aforementioned figure does not include staff or running costs, which are attributable to the operation of the CPS as a whole and cannot be assessed on an individual case basis.

The costs incurred by the defence are not recorded by my Department.

Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

Agricultural Wages Board

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans he has to review the future of the Agricultural Wages Board. [125966]

Barry Gardiner: The Agricultural Wages Board for England and Wales was reviewed in 1999-2000. As a non-departmental public body it is now subject to the new, light touch periodic business reviews. There are no plans for a review at present.

Agricultural Wages Board: Equal Opportunities

Mr. Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs why the Agricultural Wages Board did not receive an exemption from the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations. [126718]

Barry Gardiner: The Government did consider a specific exemption from the Employment Equality (Age) Regulations for the agricultural minimum wage. However, we did not consider that the case made by the Agricultural Wages Board provided the necessary
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evidence to objectively justify such an exemption, in the context of a national social policy objective. If the Agricultural Wages Board presents further evidence to support and justify an exemption, the Government will reconsider its position.

Agriculture: Air Pollution

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent representations he has received on the cost of implementing the Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations for individual farms. [127375]

Mr. Bradshaw: Various representations have been received by the Department on the costs to farmers of implementing the Pollution Prevention and Control Regulations. These have been in the form of parliamentary questions, public correspondence and letters from Members of both Houses.

Air Pollution: Business

Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) how many FTSE 100 companies meet the minimum reporting guidelines on greenhouse gas emissions; [126456]

(2) if he will estimate the annual carbon dioxide emissions in each of the last five years from companies which are not meeting the minimum reporting guidelines on greenhouse gas emissions. [126457]

Ian Pearson: DEFRA’s guidelines on environmental reporting, published in January 2006, recommend that companies report their ‘direct’ and ‘indirect’ emissions in line with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol, an initiative set up by the World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. This protocol is also used by the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which acts on behalf of 225 global investors with total assets of $31 trillion. On an annual basis, the CDP asks global companies to disclose information on greenhouse gas emissions.

83 per cent. of FTSE100 companies responded to CDP’s 2006 information request, of which 55 per cent. provided quantified emissions data and 24 per cent. provided emissions data that met the protocol's reporting requirement on ‘direct’ GHG emissions.

In the absence of a globally accepted framework for corporate GHG emissions reporting, DEFRA is currently in discussions with CDP about the opportunities provided by its role as the Secretariat to the new Climate Disclosure Standards Board. The board was launched at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos to develop and advocate a globally accepted corporate climate reporting standard.

DEFRA does not collect its own estimates of the GHG emissions of individual companies.


Bill Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much land is used for (a) biomass, (b) road use biofuel and (c) other energy crops; and what estimate he has made of the amount needed to grow enough biofuel to meet the five per cent. biofuel target for road fuel. [126410]

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Ian Pearson: In 2005, the latest year for which comprehensive data are currently available, a total of around 209,000 hectares was estimated to be used in England for crops purpose-grown for use as industrial materials and bio-energy. Of this total, oilseed rape for biofuel use accounted for nearly 93,000 hectares. This figure relates only to plantings under the Energy Aid Scheme as the end-use for crops not receiving this aid is not known. Energy crops for use in the generation of heat and electricity accounted for around 600 hectares. Plantings of energy crops have increased significantly since 2005, with over 4,500 hectares now in the ground. Biomass also comes from non purpose-grown sources such as straw and woodfuel from forestry operations.

To meet the 5 per cent. transport biofuel target entirely from UK sources would require between 1 to 1.5 million hectares of crops. However, we anticipate that biofuels in the UK will come from a mixture of home-grown and imported crops, recycled vegetable oils and tallow. In the longer term, as technology improves, straw and wood could be used for bioethanol production, so reducing pressure on land.

Biofuels: Cumbria

David Maclean: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the area of land in Cumbria which is suitable for growing biofuel crops. [127352]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 13 March 2007]: The main crops which can be grown in England to produce biofuels are oilseed rape, wheat and sugar beet, however we have not carried out research into the availability or suitability of land for growing these crops at county level.

In Cumbria, based on the June 2005 Agriculture and Horticulture Census for England, the Region, Counties/Unitary Authorities, approximately 471 hectares of oilseed rape and 5,855 hectares of wheat were grown. Some sugar beet was also grown, however, in order to protect the identity of individual holdings, detailed figures are not included. The survey does not provide information on end use, so it is not possible to determine what proportion of these crops may have been grown for biofuel production.

Birds: Registration

Daniel Kawczynski: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will make a statement on the public consultation on the proposed changes to the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, Schedule 4, and the registration of rare birds kept in captivity. [127976]

Barry Gardiner: The public consultation closed on 16 February 2007 and we are currently considering the responses. A summary of responses received will be published shortly on the DEFRA website.

Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme

Gordon Banks: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) with which sectors of industry he is working on the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme; [126429]

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(2) what update there has been by industry of funding under the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme; [126440]

(3) what progress has been made by the Business Resource Efficiency and Waste Programme; and if he will make a statement. [126470]

Mr. Bradshaw: [holding answer 14 March 2007]: The Business Resource Efficiency and Waste (BREW) Programme is returning £284 million raised from the landfill tax escalator back to business between 2005 and 2008 to improve their resource efficiency and to minimise the levels of waste that are unnecessarily sent to landfill. A Steering Group, consisting of various interested organisations including businesses, advises on the development of the programme.

The Programme provides assistance to all business sectors in England. Funding must provide a potential benefit to those sectors paying landfill tax and, where possible, address those sectors most affected by landfill tax increases. However, information on the sectoral uptake of assistance by English businesses is not stored centrally.

Evaluation results for 2005-06, which are conservative, indicate that BREW saved businesses nearly £88 million and increased their sales by over £14 million. There were also reductions in water use, waste sent to landfill and the amounts of raw materials used by businesses. Many of the benefits will be seen beyond 2005-06. Work is currently under way to assess the impact of Programme spending in the current year, 2006-07.

Carbon Dioxide: Pollution Control

Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the proportion of voluntary carbon offsetting in the UK complying with (a) the CDM Gold Standard, (b) certified emissions reductions generated by the Clean Development Mechanism, (c) emissions reductions units generated by joint implementation projects, (d) EU allowances under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, (e) his Department's proposed voluntary code of best practice for carbon offsetting and (f) uncertified voluntary emissions reductions. [125284]

Ian Pearson [holding answer 14 March 2007]: DEFRA does not collect information on the voluntary carbon offsetting market and has not made any estimate.

The Department has published a consultation paper aimed at establishing a voluntary Code of Best Practice for the provision of carbon offsetting to UK customers. The consultation will finish on 13 April 2007 and the intention is to have the code operating by autumn 2007.

We will report on the code's uptake once it has come into operation.

Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has (a) commissioned and (b) supported into the effect of introducing iron sulphate into the ocean to increase phytoplankton activity and absorb quantities of carbon dioxide. [126283]

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Ian Pearson: The Department has not commissioned, nor supported any research on the effect of introducing iron sulphate in the ocean to increase phytoplankton activity and absorb quantities of carbon dioxide.

The Department recognises that, although there may be value in investigating some engineering solutions to combat climate change, there are concerns about their ancillary effects on the environment, the practicalities and the costs of such solutions. The Department’s key priority remains finding ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to a level that will prevent dangerous climate change, as well as the need for national and international action.

Carbon Emissions

Lynne Jones: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the carbon savings in (a) households, (b) the business sector, (c) central Government and (d) local government in (i) million tonnes of carbon and (ii) million tonnes of carbon dioxide per annum in each year since 2004; and what projections he has made for the years up to 2010. [124641]

Ian Pearson: Figures published by the Department show that total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions fell by 3.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents between 2004-05. CO2 emissions fell by 0.4 million tonnes during this period, that is, 0.1 million tonnes Carbon (MtC). Savings by individual end-use sectors are not yet available but DEFRA hopes to publish details later this month.

2005 was the first year of the European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). Under the EU ETS, UK companies are able to buy emissions allowances from other EU countries. Purchase of these allowances is to be taken into account when determining whether the Kyoto target and 2010 domestic goal have been met.

UK installations covered by the scheme emitted 242 million tonnes of CO2 in 2005, which was 27 million tonnes more than their allocations for that year. The electricity supply industry emitted 36.5 million tonnes more than its allocation; other sectors emitted 9.5 million tonnes less. Adjusted for emissions trading, UK CO2 emissions in 2005 were about 527 million tonnes—approximately 11 per cent. lower than 1990 levels.

Projections of emissions, and hence savings, are not provided on a year by year basis, but at five-yearly intervals. Furthermore, projections are made only for the whole of the public sector, not for individual parts. Using the latest published figures (UK climate change programme 2006) for actual 2004 emissions and for projected emissions for 2010 (The Energy Challenge, Annex H—which updated those used in the above climate change programme), projected savings in 2010 relative to 1990 for these sectors are:

DEFRA will publish an updated appraisal of the impact of policies and measures included in the 2006 climate change programme later this year. This report
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will look at the progress of individual policies and measures, and provide a revised projection, if necessary, of the projected saving each policy and measure will deliver in 2010, based on latest available information.

Departments: Furniture

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many items of furniture were (a) lost and (b) stolen from his Department in each year since 1997; and what the value was of those items in each year. [120710]

Barry Gardiner: In 2006 a small sofa was stolen, approximate cost £350. No other items have been lost or stolen since 1997.

Departments: Official Cars

Mr. Francois: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many vehicles belonging to his Department were (a) lost and (b) stolen in each year since 1997; and what the (i) make and model and (ii) value was of each vehicle. [121371]

Barry Gardiner: DEFRA came into being in June 2001. Since that time, and from information held centrally, no vehicles have been reported lost or stolen.

Departments: Official Engagements

Mr. Hoban: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will list his official engagements from 1 January to 28 February 2007. [125952]

Barry Gardiner: The Secretary of State had the following official engagements during January and February.

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3 January

Speech, Oxford Farming Conference

10 January

Country Landowners Association to discuss food issues

11 January

Tesco to discuss food labelling

11 January

Climate Change Task Force to discuss climate change issues

16 January

Waste Industry Stakeholders to discuss waste issues

18 January

Marks and Spencer to discuss climate change issues

20 to 24 January

Visit to Sustainable Development Summit in India

29 January

Agriculture and Fish Council, Brussels

30 January

BioRegional to discuss various issues

31 January

Global Cool to discuss climate change

31 January

Lehman Brothers to discuss climate change

1 February

Energy Savings Trust to discuss energy saving

2 February

Visit to Edinburgh on range of environmental issues

20 February

Environment Council, Brussels

21 February

Representatives from a number of supermarkets to discuss various issues

22 February

National Farmers Union to discuss various issues

22 February

GMB Union to discuss climate change

26 February

Speech, National Farmers Union Conference

27 February

Speech, Green Alliance

28 February

ENCAMS to discuss sustainable schools

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