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The Minister for the Cabinet Office and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The United Kingdom and other European Union member states are required, under the terms of the recently agreed Directive on the Promotion of Biofuels and other Renewable Fuels for Road Transport, to set their own indicative targets for the use of biofuels and other renewable fuels in their areas. Member states are required to set indicative targets to be met in the years 2005 and 2010, and to notify the European Commission of these targets by July 2005 and July 2006 respectively. The Government will consult key stakeholders in due course on possible indicative targets for biofuels sales and sales of other renewable fuels in the UK, as well as on the most appropriate ways of meeting these targets.
The Government have already put in place a number of measures to incentivise the production and use of biofuels in the UK. These include a 20 pence per litre fuel duty incentive for biodiesel, which came into effect in July 2002. Sales of biodiesel have increased significantly as a result of this, with some 700,000 litres sold in the month of April 2003. Budget 2003 announced that a similar duty incentive in favour of bioethanol would come into effect in January 2005. It also indicated that the Government are considering how best to give further support to bioethanol produced from lignocellulosic feedstocks, which potentially offers even greater environmental benefits.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: Studies show that the level of carbon savings from biofuels depends on factors such as the type of biomass feedstock, agricultural management and the processing method. A range of 4060 per cent life cycle carbon savings is assumed to be realistic for the UK. Using this range gives an estimate of 0.30.45 megatonnes of carbon (MtC) and 0.91.3 MtC savings for the 2 and 5.75 per cent targets respectively. The cost figures, based on the European Commission's estimates of cost, put the cost of carbon saving at £280£700 per tonne.
The final text of the recently agreed Biofuels Directive includes 2 per cent and 5.75 per cent as reference targets for the proportion of sales which should be biofuels by 2005 and 2010 respectively. The expected carbon savings and cost per tonne saved from the introduction of biofuels at these rates have been set
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The Get Started campaign's primary focus is to drive up levels of Internet access among key groups such as the elderly, the disabled and the unemployed. During the campaign people will be encouraged to visit the 6,000 UK online centres throughout the country offering free Internet starter sessions. Increased take-up of government services is expected to be an important longer-term outcome of the campaign as, by encouraging more people to get online, it expands the market for online government services.
Lord Macdonald of Tradeston: The proposed consolidated ILO maritime labour convention is still under discussion internationally. It is therefore not possible at this time to say which existing ILO instruments or parts thereof will be incorporated in the new convention when it is finalised. The entire corpus of ILO maritime instruments is being considered as part of this large-scale review. It is nevertheless the intention that the new convention should be adopted by a decision of the general conference of the ILO, convened by the governing body of the ILO, in 2005.
Baroness Andrews: We are today announcing a £165 million investment programme in new equipment for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. As a result, all computed tomography (CT) scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners and linear accelerators introduced before 1996 will be replaced with new modern equipment. This will give the National Health Service in England a stock of
The report shows that while there was a shortfall in cancer investment in 200102, this was corrected in 200203 in line with the commitments set out in the Cancer Plan. Planned local investment in cancer alongside central budgets for 200304 will mean that the NHS will invest more than the £570 million provided in the Cancer Plan.
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