|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
Mr. Peter Ainsworth: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what advice his Department's chief scientist has given on the sustainability of the Government's policy on biofuels; and if he will make a statement. 
The Government's commitment to biofuels is subject to their sustainability. The renewable transport fuel obligation includes a robust carbon and sustainability reporting mechanism to encourage fuel suppliers to
source the most sustainable biofuels. We recognise that reporting is only a first step: we are working with the European Commission to ensure that forthcoming EU legislation includes robust mandatory sustainability criteria for biofuels.
A review of the indirect impacts of biofuels was commissioned by the Department for Transport, and is being led by the Renewable Fuels Agency under Professor Gallagher. DEFRA's chief scientific adviser, along with other Government chief scientific advisers, will peer-review the findings prior to publication. The results of the review will inform policy on the social and environmental sustainability of biofuels.
Mr. Morley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average recorded rise in (a) sea temperatures and (b) global surface temperatures has been since 2000. 
Mr. Woolas: Taking short segments of temperature records (for example, considering periods shorter than a decade) emphasises year-to-year variations in climate which can be at odds with the long-term trend.
Globally, the trend of both sea surface temperatures (SST) and near-surface air temperatures is still upward. The year 2005 was the second warmest year (after 1998) in the air temperature record, which began in 1850. Eleven of the 12 warmest years in the record have occurred in the last 12 yearsthe exception was 1996. Since 2005, some cooling has occurred because of natural climate variations, including the current Pacific La Niña (1998 was especially warm because of a strong El Niño in that year).
The most recent Met Office Hadley Centre and climatic research unit joint analysis shows that since 2000, global average near-surface air temperature has shown a continued warming trend of 0.16° C per decade, with seven of the eight warmest years in the record since 1850 occurring since (and including) 2000. This compares to a rising trend of just over 0.15° C per decade since the mid-1970s and 0.1° C per decade between 1998 and 2007.
In the latest IPCC report, the trend in global average near-surface temperature 1979 to 2005 is 0.163° C per decade.
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps his Department has taken to reduce its energy
consumption in the last 12 months; and what his Department's expenditure on energy was in (a) the most recent 12-month period for which figures are available and (b) the immediately preceding 12 months. 
Joan Ruddock: The rebuild of the Lion House Building at Alnwick will be the first carbon neutral building on the DEFRA estate. It will deliver specific sustainability targets in relation to management, energy, internal environment, transport, water, materials, land use, ecology and pollution, and has integrated initiatives such as wind turbines, photovoltaic solar electric and solar thermal panels and biomass heating. The project will set the standard for all future DEFRA network estate projects.
DEFRA is currently installing advanced metering reading (AMR) on approximately 100 of its sites. The meters will capture over 90 per cent. of the DEFRA network estates utility use from electricity, gas, oil and water by the end of summer 2008. The Carbon Trust indicates that savings of up to 10 to 15 per cent. can be achieved through the implementation of initiatives realised through the analysis of AMR data, through reducing the base load, optimising the use of equipment and reducing peak usage.
DEFRA is implementing the Carbon Trust's Carbon management programme (CMP). The programme has enabled the Department to develop a systematic approach to carbon management and take a strategic approach to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions through operational improvements, reduced energy costs, staff awareness and monitoring initiatives. The CMP is integrated with DEFRA's energy efficiency programme and the numerous renewable energy projects being rolled out across the estate.
DEFRA is the first Government Department to access Salix Fundinga revolving ring fenced fund, which has been allocated to the CMP. Financial savings from CMP projects will be fed back into the fund for further projects.
|Energy expenditure (electricity, gas, oil)|
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the take-up was for registration with the Environment Agency for flood warnings in each of the last five years; and whether flood warnings extend to business properties. 
The following table shows the number of properties currently registered with Flood Warnings Direct (FWD). Prior to 2006 the Environment Agency operated an Automatic Voice Messaging (AVG) system which delivered pre-recorded warnings to those who
registered with the service. The AVG system provided a phone number for registered properties and therefore did not distinguish between home and business.
Mr. Drew: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs where the pilots on the joint work of the Environment Agency and Meteorological Office on the prediction of extreme weather events will take place; and if he will include Gloucestershire as a pilot area. 
The Met Office and Environment Agency are planning to launch a pilot alert service for extreme rainfall events in July 2008 to help the emergency response community mitigate the impacts of such events. The Met Office is working closely with the Environment Agency to finalise the details of the pilot service for England and Wales, including Gloucestershire. The Met Office also intends to make the pilot service available more widely in the UK, and will work closely with the responsible authorities in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
|Number of cars newly registered (Thousand)|
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what (a) surveys, (b) questionnaires and (c) other services were provided by polling companies for her Department in financial year 2007-08, broken down by company. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: Services provided by polling companies to the Department for Transport in 2007-08 are summarised in the following tables. These included on-going surveys (table A), ad-hoc surveys (table B) and qualitative research (table C).
|(A) Ongoing surveys|
|Division/agency||Survey/opinion poll||(i) Firm|
|Next Section||Index||Home Page|