Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page



4 Dec 2006 : Column WA89

Written Answers

Monday 4 December 2006

Africa: Dialogue with China

Lord Judd asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): The Government have significantly increased their dialogue with China on African issues in recent months. My right honourable friend the Prime Minister, my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Ian McCartney, and I have discussed Africa-related issues with senior members of the Chinese Government in London, and my right honourable friend the Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs did so in Beijing in July this year. Senior Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and Department for International Development (DfID) officials, including both Permanent Under-Secretaries, have discussed Africa during visits to Beijing. The FCO and DfID both plan to further formalise this dialogue: DfID plans regular senior official level talks with the Chinese on development issues with a strong emphasis on Africa. FCO and DfID posts in Beijing and in Africa are also developing their contacts with Chinese colleagues, including on opportunities for practical co-operation. Through this dialogue we will be encouraging China, in line with its growing engagement in Africa, to get more involved in relevant multilateral initiatives and actively to reinforce Africa's own agenda for promoting good governance and sound economic management.

The UK also strongly supported the agreement by the EU and China at their summit in September to develop a structured dialogue on Africa. The EU hopes this will be able to start early in 2007.

Aviation: Climate Change

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The impact of aviation on climate change is not limited to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Stern's conclusion on the non-CO2 impacts of aviation reflects the estimate made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that the total climate

4 Dec 2006 : Column WA90

change impact of aviation is two to four times greater than that of its CO2 emissions alone. This is due to some of the other emissions released, including nitrous oxides (NOx), particulates and water vapour, and their specific effects at altitude. There is, however, a need for further research to quantify these effects more accurately.

Our aim is for aviation to join the EU Emissions Trading Scheme as soon as possible. Under the UK's chairmanship, the EU Environment Council agreed that emissions trading seems to be the best way forward and called on the Commission to produce a legislative proposal by the end of 2006. One of the key issues that will need to be considered as part of any proposal is how the non-CO2 impacts of aviation should be covered. There are technical challenges and scientific uncertainties surrounding the inclusion of non-CO2 effects in emissions trading. We believe that it is important to set out a pathway to improving understanding of the climate impacts of aviation and the trade-offs involved.

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Rooker: The conversion factors published in Defra's Guidelines for Company Reporting on Greenhouse Gas Emissions are currently 0.11 kilogram/carbon dioxide per passenger kilometre for long-haul travel, and 0.15 kilogramme/carbon dioxide per passenger kilometre for short-haul. For the purposes of the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund, a multiplier of x2 is applied to the estimated totals to take into account the additional climate impact of non-CO2 emissions at altitude. These conversion factors are being reviewed and new figures will be announced soon.

Carbon Emissions: Clean Development Mechanism

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The UK Government have consistently provided voluntary financial contributions in support of the clean development mechanism (CDM) in line with the Kyoto scale. For 2006, the UK provided $740,000. With current pledges paid and a levy on credits being taken to cover administrative expenses of the mechanism, it is expected that no further such contributions will be needed.



4 Dec 2006 : Column WA91

The Government are on track to meet their Kyoto target and are therefore not intending to purchase credits from the CDM for compliance. However, the Government are purchasing credits from CDM projects to offset emissions from air travel undertaken in the course of official business. These will be sourced from small-scale energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. The Government are facilitating involvement of businesses in the CDM market by approving the participation of companies not only from the UK but further afield. The list of 183 approved projects until November 2006, which covers a range of different mitigation activities, is available on the Defra website at www.defra.gov.uk/environment/climatechange/internat/kyotomech/documents/cdm-dna-approvals.pdf.

The CDM market has grown enormously in the past year, with an estimated 1,300 projects and 1.5 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the pipeline to 2012. The UK is the major private sector participant in the CDM market, with UK companies participating in some 28 per cent of currently registered CDM projects and with an estimated $2 billion of private funds invested in London.

Climate Change: Greenhouse Gases

Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has developed a methodology for calculating the relative climate effects of different greenhouse gases. This provides the relative contribution of a tonne emission of each gas, relative to the effect of a tonne emission of carbon dioxide integrated over a fixed time period. A 100-year time horizon has been chosen in view of the relatively long time-scale for addressing climate change. This factor is known as the global warming potential (GWP).

GWPs are given in the table below for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. These were published by the IPCC in its third assessment report.

GasGWP

Carbon dioxide

1

Methane

23

Nitrous oxide

296

The GWP values used for calculating national greenhouse gas emissions reported to the United Nations framework convention on climate change are by international agreement taken from IPCC's second assessment report and differ slightly from the values shown in the table.



4 Dec 2006 : Column WA92

Taking account of GWPs and the level of emissions of different gases, the UK greenhouse gas inventory shows that in 2004 carbon dioxide accounted for about 84 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions. Methane and nitrous oxide contributed about 8 per cent and 6 per cent respectively. Research conducted by the Hadley Centre takes account of the detailed effects of these gases on the climate including the interactions between the gases, the oceans and the terrestrial biosphere.

Crime: Rape

Lord Campbell-Savours asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Minister of State, Home Office (Baroness Scotland of Asthal): The information requested is not available and can be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Cyprus: Direct Flights

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Triesman): Following the rejection of the Annan plan by the Greek Cypriot community in 2004 EU Foreign Ministers agreed to put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community. To this end, we welcome the EU Commission's recent financing decision for €38.1 million to facilitate the economic integration of the island and to improve contact between the two communities and with the EU. We also welcome the favourable opinion of the Pologne, Hongrie Assistance la Reconstruction Economique (PHARE) committee on the second tranche of €120 million for the Turkish Cypriots.

Financial aid is a significant step, but alone it is not enough to lift the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots. The EU presidency is also working with the parties to broker an agreement that would allow direct trade between the Turkish Cypriot community and the EU. We fully support their efforts and encourage the

4 Dec 2006 : Column WA93

parties to engage constructively in discussions. We also welcome the opening of new crossing points on the Green Line and amendments to the Green Line Regulation to facilitate trade between the two communities and, indirectly, the EU. We support lifting the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and remain in favour of direct flights in principle. However, without the co-operation of the Republic of Cyprus significant legal obstacles remain.

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass asked Her Majesty's Government:

Lord Triesman: Without the co-operation of the Republic of Cyprus there remain significant legal obstacles to direct flights between the UK and Northern Cyprus. However, we support lifting the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots and in principle we remain in favour of direct flights.

Education: Social Background

Baroness Morris of Yardley asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): The only available source of social class and socio-economic information on HE students comes originally from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Socio-economic data are currently derived from the information given by applicants on parental occupation using the standard occupational classification 2000. For entry up to and including 2001, social class data were derived from parental occupation using the standard occupational classification 1990. The national statistics socio-economic classification (NS-SEC) was introduced in 2001 to replace social class. The two classifications are not directly comparable.

The parental education information is given voluntarily, and as such a proportion of applicants have their NS-SEC recorded as “unknown”. Socio-economic data are handed over to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) each year to be included in its student record. This information is then used to inform a performance indicator, which is based on only those entrants with known NS-SEC. The social class and socio-economic class performance indicators are shown in the table.



4 Dec 2006 : Column WA94

Proportion of English-domiciled full-time first degree entrants to university from the lower social classes/lower socio-economic classes
Lower social classes (IIIM, IV, V)Lower socio-economic classes (4-7)

1997-98

24.7

n/a

1998-99

24.9

n/a

1999-2000

25.1

n/a

2000-01

25.3

n/a

2001-02

25.5

n/a

2002-03

n/a

27.9

2003-04

n/a

28.2

2004-05

n/a

27.9

n/a: not available
The socio-economic classification was introduced in 2002-03 to replace the social class groupings. The two classifications are not directly comparable.
Source: Higher Education Statistics Agency Performance Indicators

In addition, the department draws directly on UCAS application and acceptance data on the proportions of applications and acceptances from lower NS-SECs.

The Youth Cohort Study (YCS) is a series of longitudinal surveys that contacts a sample of an academic year-group of young people in the spring following completion of compulsory education and again one and/or two years later. The YCS is not used to determine the social class background of students entering higher education, but it can be used to look at the education and labour market experience, training and qualifications of young people from different socio-economic groups.

EU: Promoting Citizenship

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills (Lord Adonis): A copy of the resolution on implementing common objectives for young people to promote their active European citizenship is being placed in the Library of the House.

Lord Pearson of Rannoch asked Her Majesty's Government:


Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page