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17 July 2007 : Column 210Wcontinued
|Table 2: CO 2 and GHG emissions from the EU-15|
|GHG emissions (with LULUCF)||Percentage change on previous year||Percentage change on 1990||Net CO 2 emissions including land use, land use change and forestry||Percentage change on previous year||Percentage change on 1990|
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research he has commissioned into reducing methane emissions from cows. 
Mr. Woolas: For information relating to research into reducing methane emissions from livestock, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer given on 10 July 2007, Official R eport, column 1380W.
In addition to our work on reducing emissions from livestock through nutrition, husbandry, genetics, and nutrient management, we are also exploring the potential for the use of anaerobic digestion to reduce methane emissions. Anaerobic digestion can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing methane from the decomposition of organic materials, such as livestock manures and slurries, sewage sludge and food wastes, to produce a biogas. The biogas can be used as a renewable energy source, both for heat and power, and as a transport fuel.
Mr. Nicholas Brown: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether his Department participated in the Lights out London campaign. 
Joan Ruddock: DEFRA participated in the Lights out London campaign in order to raise awareness of the issue of climate change by encouraging people to change their behaviour both at work and at home. One of the actions people can take to reduce CO2 emissions is to turn off lights.
Eight departmental buildings in London complied with the initiative.
Mrs. Lait: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the total cost is of all private finance initiative projects for which his Department has responsibility completed since 1997; and what the projected cost is of such projects commissioned or under way. 
Jonathan Shaw: There are no private finance initiative projects completed since 1997 for which the Department or its sponsored bodies have responsibility. There are, however, currently three PFI projects under way for which DEFRA does have responsibility and the details of these are shown in the following table. The Department is not presently involved in any other PFI projects which are at the commissioning stage. The total costs shown in the table include unitary charge payments which are conditional on the performance of the private sector contractors.
|Organisation||Project description||Projected cost (£ million)|
The Department also gives support in the form of PFI credits to allow local authorities to enter into PFI contracts to provide waste recycling and management facilities. These projects are, however, managed by and the responsibility of the local authority concerned and not DEFRA itself.
Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what incentives he has considered to encourage staff in his Department to use public transport. 
The main incentive the Department offers are interest-free loans for season tickets for travel to work. Use of public transport is encouraged by departmental policies including limited car parking, flexible working, using public transport during the course of travel and making use of travel websites and
information services, such as Transport Direct. Staff are also informed about local transport initiatives and promotions. Where the location or nature of the work makes public transport use impractical for staff, car sharing and the use of low emission vehicles is encouraged.
Norman Baker: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if he will discuss with (a) the European Commission and (b) the Italian authorities the illegal use of driftnets by Italian fishermen in the Mediterranean. 
Jonathan Shaw: My ministerial predecessor, my hon. Friend the Member for Exeter (Mr. Bradshaw), took the opportunity at the 11-12 June Agriculture and Fisheries Council, to raise our concerns about the continuing illegal use of drift nets in EU waters. The Commission made it clear that it took such illegal activity seriously and that it is currently investigating the activities of both Italian and French vessels in this regard. In addition, the regulation defining drift nets, to provide for more robust enforcement of the existing controls, has now been formally adopted.
Chris Huhne: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what estimate he has made of the (a) number of deaths, (b) number of homes flooded, (c) amount of damage caused by floods and (d) the insured losses arising from floods in each of the last 10 years. 
Mr. Woolas: For (a), the data available on deaths due to drowning do not give a sufficiently detailed breakdown to enable direct attribution to flooding to be made. However, we are aware that in recent years two deaths resulted from the flooding in Carlisle in 2005, for example, whilst a number of deaths have been reported during the recent floods.
For (b), the following estimates include homes flooded in England as a result of river or sea flooding only.
| Source: Environment Agency flood incident management teams, regional flood risk management teams and flood risk mapping and data.|
For 2007, the current total of reports of recent flooding from all sources, including surface water as well as river flooding, is now over 37,000 residential properties and businesses affected.
For (c) and (d), full details for each year are not available. However, for the autumn floods of 2000the most widespread floods in recent yearsthe total costs were then estimated at around £1 billion. In addition, the following data for major weather events in the last 10 years are from the Association of British Insurers.
|Incident||Cost estimate (£ million)|
For 2007, the ABI has estimated that claims total around £1.5 billion for the recent floods.
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