Select Committee on Science and Technology First Report



Agenda 2000: A package of measures to reform the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the EU's structural and cohesion funds. Proposals by the EU Commission in 1997 were agreed in amended form at the Berlin European Summit in March 1999.

Alternative Crops Technology Interaction Network (ACTIN): A United Kingdom industry-led initiative to promote the use of raw materials derived from agricultural crops as sustainable, biodegradable and CO2 neutral replacements for petrochemical feedstocks.

Arable Area Payment Scheme (AAPS): EU scheme designed to reduce surplus production by requiring a proportion of arable land to be removed from production and providing an annual area payment as compensation.

Biodiesel: Diesel fuel produced from plant oils.

Bioethanol: Ethanol produced from plant sugar or starch using a fermentation process.

Biomass: Crops or waste residues which can be converted into energy by fermentation or combustion.

Blair House Agreement: An agreement whereby cumulative penalties are applied to area payments if the annual area of oilseeds grown in the EU exceeds 4.885 mil ha. The agreement is designed to protect US  exports from animal feed derived from subsidised EU oilseed production.

Climate Change Levy: A proposed tax on energy use by business.

Crambe: A type of brassica which is a source of erucic acid.

Cuphea: There are many species of the Cuphea plant, which originates in Mexico and contains medium chain fatty acids similar to those in palm oil. The oils have applications in the detergent industry.

Foresight: A United Kingdom programme under which panels are set up to investigate possible future needs, opportunities and threats in different sectors, and to decide what can be done to meet the challenges.

Fontainebleau Abatement: Under an agreement with the EU, the United Kingdom receives an abatement of roughly two-thirds of the difference between its gross contribution to, and receipts from, the European Union budget.

Fossil Fuel Levy: A levy on all suppliers of electricity to enable the industry to meet the above-market costs of contracting for renewable generating capacity under NFFO orders.

Geotextile matting: Material made from natural fibres used to prevent soil erosion.

Hill Livestock Compensatory Allowances: A United Kingdom funded scheme which provides aid for the production of cattle and sheep in hill areas.

Interactive European Network for Industrial Crops (IENICA): An EU funded collaborative networking system to link key individuals from industry, government and science in order to identify opportunities for industrial crops or applications.

Life-Cycle Assessment: A research technique designed to measure all the inputs and outputs of a process from production to final use.

MacSharry reforms: A package of measures, introduced in 1992 by the then EU Agricultural Commissioner, Ray MacSharry, aimed at reducing the costs of the CAP.

Non crop specific payment: Introduced under Agenda 2000 to provide the same annual area payment for cereals, oilseeds and set-aside.

Non-food crops: Crops grown for industrial purposes, other than for food.

Non Fossil Fuels Obligation (NFFO): Government programme which currently requires the electricity industry to contract for specified amounts of renewable generating capacity from renewable sources.

Oatec Project: Research project into new markets for oats funded by the Home Grown Cereals Authority.

Project ARBRE: Project set up by Yorkshire Water to develop a renewable, sustainable and efficient energy source based on short rotation coppice and forestry residue material.

Quinoa: An annual plant cultivated in South America for its farinaceous seeds.

"Roofless factory": The concept of using plant biochemistry, with sunlight as an energy source, to produce bulk chemicals.

Set-aside: Land on which farmers may not grow food crops under the AAPS and may only, under specific conditions, grow certain non­food crops.

Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow: Willow which can be used for energy generation and regenerates quickly after cutting.

Stokes aster: Contains long chain fatty acids, particularly vernolic acid, which has applications in the plastics, paints and adhesives industries.

Surfactant: A substance, such as a detergent, that reduces the surface tension of a liquid, allowing it to foam or to be absorbed by solids (a wetting agent). The term surfactant is a contraction of "surface-active agent".

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs): Small molecules, typically composed of short-chain hydrocarbons, that exist largely in the gas phase at ambient temperatures. Reactions of VOCs in polluted air can produce harmful gases such as ozone.

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