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Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the gross value added (GVA) and proportion of total GVA of fishing in (a) Cornwall, (b) the South West and (c) the UK was in each year since 1979. 
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what arrangements he has made to deal with liability in the event that BASFs genetically modified potato trials cause damage to the local economies, environment or health. 
Ian Pearson: No specific arrangements have been made. The Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE) is satisfied that the trials will not have any adverse effect on human health or the environment. It is also difficult to see how the trials might unreasonably prejudice local economies. A concern has been raised about a possible indirect impact on growers of borage and this is being considered by BASF.
Gregory Barker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what evidence he considered before agreeing to the 0.9 per cent. threshold for genetically modified organisms in the new organic standards adopted on 12 June 2007. 
Ian Pearson: We share the view of the Commission and most other member states, that it would be too difficult and costly for organic producers to apply a GM threshold significantly lower than 0.9 per cent. It would imply, for example, that the organic supply chain would need to undertake widespread testing where products were liable to have an unintended GM presence. Such testing is expensive and time-consuming. During discussions, organic stakeholder groups indicated that they did not favour including a threshold below 0.9 per cent. in the EU organic production regulation.
Mr. Bradshaw: The choice of technologies for the remediation of land contamination is a matter for those responsible for taking action at a particular site. My Department has helped fund the Contaminated Land: Applications in Real Environments (CL:AIRE) organisation, which provides independent reports on trials of individual technologies in this field.
In April 2000, part 2A of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 created a new framework for the identification and remediation of contaminated land in England, in circumstances where there has not been any identifiable breach of a current pollution prevention regime.
The framework places a duty on local authorities in England to identify contaminated land in their area, and to ensure that the appropriate remedial action is taken. Where land has been identified as contaminated land, the local authority will seek the person who caused or knowingly permitted the presence of the substances causing the problem to carry out any necessary remedial works. Where this person cannot be found, for example because a company is no longer in existence, the landowner may be the appropriate person, subject to detailed rules in the Act and the accompanying guidance (DEFRA Circular 01/2006).
The regime allows for voluntary remediation, and also for the authority to carry out remediation on behalf of those considered liable, allowing the authority to recover the cost. As a last resort, the authority can serve a remediation notice requiring work to be done, subject to the usual right of appeal. The regime also recognises that remediation can also be secured through the planning system in appropriate cases.
Mr. Paul Goodman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues from the Department of Trade and Industry on the environmental consequences of changes to the Low Carbon Building programme. 
David Miliband: I regularly meet my Cabinet colleagues to discuss policies, including microgeneration technologies and the renewables market, where DTI and DEFRA both have a key role to play in their successful delivery.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the merits of designating the Severn estuary as a special area of conservation; and if he will make a statement. 
Barry Gardiner: I am currently considering a proposal from our statutory conservation advisers to notify the Severn estuary to the European Commission as a candidate special area of conservation and hope to be able to make a statement on this soon.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the joint UK-Japan workshop on achieving a sustainable low-carbon society held from 13 to 15 June included discussion of nuclear power co-operation and development. 
Discussions took place on the scale of investment needed for the deployment of cleaner
technologies and on the mechanisms that can mobilise investment. There was no specific discussion on nuclear power co-operation and development.
Jo Swinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what measurements were taken of the amount of packaging waste produced by each of the signatories to the Courtauld Commitment when the Commitment was signed in July 2005; 
Mr. Bradshaw: Each of the signatories to the Courtauld Commitment is an obligated company for the purposes of the Packaging Regulations and declares their total packaging use each year to the relevant regulators.
The Courtauld Commitment objectives relate to primary packaging taken home by consumers. When I met the signatories last November, I asked them to agree a protocol with the Waste and Resources Action Programme for reporting progress in a consistent and transparent way. A draft protocol is currently being consulted on, with a view to it being agreed and implemented in this reporting year.
Colin Challen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much has been (a) allocated and (b) spent by the Government on research and development on deep geological disposal of radioactive waste since (i) the end of the NIREX Inquiry in April 1997 and (ii) November 2006. 
Ian Pearson: The Government spent about £0.5 million on research and development (R&D) on deep geological disposal of radioactive waste between April 1997 and November 2006. We have not spent on R&D in this area since then. However, the main expenditure on deep geological disposal R&D during these periods has been by United Kingdom Nirex Limited (Nirex). The Government owned Nirex from April 2005 until November 2006, when it became part of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). This is funded by Government through the Department of Trade and Industry and, partially, through its commercial activities. During the period of Government ownership of Nirex, the company was largely funded by the NDA, with a small additional percentage coming from the Ministry of Defence (MOD).
The following table shows the expenditure on R&D on geological disposal while Nirex was in Government ownership, and expenditure from November 2006 until end of May 2007 by the NDA following the acquisition and integration of Nirex into the NDA. Prior to April 2005, Nirex R&D activities were funded by its nuclear industry shareholders and the MOD.
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Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress he has made on amending the performance indicator applicable to local councils in respect of recycling levels to reflect performance in terms of waste minimisation. 
Mr. Bradshaw: The recently published Waste Strategy 2007 put forward a range of measures to reduce waste arisings and build on recent improvements in recycling. A greater focus on waste prevention has been recognised through a new target to reduce the amount of household waste not re-used, recycled or composted, from over 22.2 million tonnes in 2000 by 29 per cent. to 15.8 million tonnes in 2010, with an aspiration to reduce it to 12.2 million tonnes in 2020a reduction of 45 per cent. This is equivalent to a fall of 50 per cent. per person (from 450 kg per person in 2000 to 225 kg in 2020).
Waste minimisation is not directly measured by any of the Best Value Performance Indicators (BVPI). However, it is reflected in BVPI 84a, which measures kilograms of household waste collected per head of population. In addition, household waste sent for reuse, including items such as furniture delivered to civic amenity sites, would be excluded from the calculation of BVPI 82.
In October 2006, the Government published the local government White Paper, Strong and Prosperous Communities. This set out a new vision for delivering better public services through a rebalancing of the relationship between central Government, local government and local people. Local public service providers will be given more freedom to bring about the changes they want to see. The White Paper sets out a radical simplification of the local authority performance framework including fewer indicators and centrally set targets. This means that 2007-08 will be the final year of best value indicators and targets.
Indicators in the new framework will reflect national outcomes, to be agreed later this year in the comprehensive spending review 2007, which will be delivered through local area agreements. The future framework will enable local authorities to contribute to an overall waste outcome that leads us towards more sustainable management of waste in England, focused on minimising the amounts of municipal waste produced and landfilled.
Ian Pearson: The Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) was established in 2003 in response to the world summit on sustainable development. REEEP has been recognised by the G8 in the outcomes of Gleneagles, St Petersburg and Heiligendamm as a key delivery vehicle for accelerating the uptake of renewables and energy efficiency in developing countries.
REEEP has over 200 partners, including over 35 governments and a global network of eight secretariats based in leading energy organisations around the world. It has also developed strong links with the private sector, academia and international bodies such as the World Bank, UN agencies and the International Energy Agency.
DEFRA provides funding to REEEP of £2.5 million each year for 2005-08. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provided funding of £1 million each year for 2004-06. Several Governments, notably the US, Australia, a number of EU states and Norway now also provide funding.
REEEP is well positioned to support future action on climate change and is already beginning to scale up and replicate its successful interventions. As the partnership develops it is now able to engage more strategically with key government, international bodies and the private sector in support of UK energy and climate objectives, and act as a platform for international co-operation on these issues.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what guidance (a) his Department and (b) the Waste and Resources Action programme has issued on the use of microchips or radio frequency identity tags in domestic rubbish or recycling bins. 
Microchips installed on wheelie bins are identification tags which allow a bin to be matched to a particular propertythey do not record information on what is put into the bin. It is up to local authorities to decide whether to install the chips. Authorities that have installed microchips have used them to identify lost bins or, when used with weighing trucks, to monitor levels of waste created in different neighbourhoods and target information and education accordingly.
Martin Horwood: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what measures his Department has put in place to reduce its waste arisings; and what the quantitative impact of each measure has been. 
Each site within the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs has a programme of waste reduction measures appropriate to their site in order to enable them to meet the sustainable operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets. Performance
information is continually monitored and reported quarterly and collated into a central report.
Anne Moffat: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what assessment he has made of the likelihood of securing a majority in the International Whaling Commission for a complete ban on commercial whaling; 
Mr. Bradshaw: Since the UK and the anti-whaling bloc had a simple majority at this years meeting of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), we were able to sponsor and secure several key resolutions: calling on Japan to halt its lethal scientific research programme; promoting the non-lethal use of cetaceans; and reaffirming the continued need for the IWC moratorium on commercial whaling. This last resolution subsequently served us well in the Conference of Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, enabling us to defeat proposals aimed at eventually allowing trade in whale products to take place.
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