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Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, of course those organisations take responsibility for monitoring the work for which they are responsible. The noble Lord will recognise, too, the very important role played by

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the Department for Children, Schools and Families with regard to the issues of music and the arts in schools. However, the noble Lord is absolutely right to draw attention to this matter. The whole point about the Olympic Games, as well as their exciting the whole nation, is that in particular they should excite the youth of the nation in terms of both the sporting opportunities and the wider, Cultural Olympiad as well. We have those objectives in mind.

Airports: Heathrow

3.23 pm

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, government targets currently exclude international aviation emissions, as there is no agreed way in which to allocate responsibility for them to individual countries. A critical first step to a global solution is to cap EU aviation emissions by including them in the EU emissions trading scheme, which ensures that any growth in aviation emissions is offset by a reduction in emissions elsewhere. That approach means that growth in aviation, including Heathrow expansion, would be sustainable.

Baroness McIntosh of Hudnall: My Lords, I thank my noble friend for that reply, but he will not be surprised to find that I do not regard it as entirely satisfactory, particularly in the wake of recent further warnings from the IPCC about the acceleration of the effects of climate change. Does my noble friend accept that aviation is the fastest-growing contributor to damaging emissions both in the air and on the ground? I very much doubt that emissions trading will be enough to offset that effect.

The Environment Agency, an organisation on which the Government place some reliance, puts tackling aviation issues—and specifically the halting of airport expansion—at number seven in its recent list of 50 things that we need to do to save the planet. Is it not time for the UK to show real international lead by taking active steps to reduce air travel rather than simply accepting that continued growth is inevitable?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I believe that the United Kingdom is taking an international lead in these matters. I absolutely respect what the noble Baroness has to say on these matters, but I think that we also have to keep a sense of balance and proportion about aviation’s contribution to global CO2 emissions. UK aviation contributes less than 1 per cent—0.1 per cent—to global CO2 emissions and international aviation itself contributes only 1.5 per cent. We take the environmental challenge seriously. That is why we have led the way internationally and why we have introduced, for the first time anywhere, legislation specifically to tackle climate change.

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Lord Bradshaw: My Lords, can the Minister tell us what levels of fuel prices the Government have factored into the forecasts and models they put before us in this consultation document on Heathrow and whether they have any figures on the cost of an alternatively—electrically—powered high-speed train service serving this country and nearby Europe? I would like the facts. If he does not have them at his fingertips perhaps he will tomorrow when we debate the railways.

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I do not have those comparisons, and I congratulate the noble Lord on being realistic in asking his question. Of course it is important that we encourage people to use more sustainable forms of transportation, and that is exactly why we have the high-level output strategy for rail and why we have made very significant investment in the rail industry. It is also why we have brought forward important contributions to ensuring that this level of investment specifically in the rail sector continues to increase. Proportionately fewer people are travelling by plane and more by train. That is why, particularly on the key InterCity lines, we recognise the importance of encouraging greater passenger use of trains.

Lord Clinton-Davis: My Lords, if nothing at all were done about Heathrow, is it not inevitable that the airlines would travel to major airports in Europe? How would that help us in the fight against carbon emissions and global warming?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I agree with the noble Lord’s point; he is absolutely right that that business would go to other major hubs if Heathrow were not expanded. Paris and Amsterdam would benefit but I do not think that there would be a significant reduction at all in CO2 levels as a consequence; in fact, there could well be adverse impacts on CO2 levels. He makes a very respectable point.

Earl Attlee: My Lords, are emissions relating to taxiing and stacking operations higher at Heathrow than comparable airports and, if so, why?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I do not have those comparisons to hand but I shall ensure that the research is carried out and write to the noble Earl on those points.

Lord St John of Bletso: My Lords, can the Minister elaborate on what scope there is for the airline industry to offset its carbon emissions?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, there is considerable scope. That is why we are working with our European partners on developing an EU-wide scheme and why we have been working towards developing international parameters for an emissions trading scheme. That approach will in the end bring long-term benefits.

Lord Faulkner of Worcester: My Lords, can my noble friend tell me whether the Government have accepted the conclusions of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of Manchester, which says not only that aviation must be brought within the ETS as soon as possible—certainly by

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2010—but that it must be at levels of carbon that are far higher than currently envisaged if it is to have any effect on aviation’s growth across Europe and particularly on ticket prices?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, that research is of great value and I am sure that it will continue to contribute towards this important debate. What we have to ensure is that the emissions trading schemes are effective and work well and that the lead we have shown is followed by other countries across Europe.

Lord Teverson: My Lords, is not the fact that the airline industry will be increasingly important in terms of total emissions in the future the reason why international air travel should be included in the Government’s current Climate Change Bill in terms of the way in which emissions are monitored? Is it not essential that the House makes that change to the Bill?

Lord Bassam of Brighton: My Lords, I cannot disagree with the noble Lord that, in the longer term, it is important that we have an international scheme that everyone can sign up to. Realistically, we are some way from that, but the Climate Change Bill provides scope for the development of an international emissions trading scheme and our Government should be congratulated on that.

Kidney Transplant Bill [HL]

3.30 pm

Baroness Finlay of Llandaff: My Lords, I beg to introduce a Bill to make provision about kidney donation. I beg to move that this Bill be now read a first time.

Moved accordingly, and on Question, Bill read a first time, and ordered to be printed.

Standing Orders (Public Business)

The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper. These changes to Standing Orders are consequential to the House’s agreement to the Procedure Committee report on Monday. The change to Standing Order 51 will allow the new Explanatory Notes on Commons amendments to be printed whether or not the House is sitting.

Changes to Standing Orders 41, 52 and 74 tidy up the Standing Orders relating to delegated legislation. I beg to move.

Moved, That the Standing Orders relating to public business be amended as follows:

Leave out paragraph (6) and insert:

“(6) Any motion relating to a report from the Delegated Powers and Regulatory Reform Committee on a draft order laid under the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Act 2006, or a subordinate provisions order made or proposed to be madeunder the Regulatory Reform Act 2001, shall be entered before a motion to approve that order.”.

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At the end of paragraph (2), after “Reasons” insert “and any Explanatory Notes on the amendments”.

Delete paragraph (6).

In paragraph (2), leave out “any statutory instrument made by the Scottish Ministers or otherwise under an Act or Act of the Scottish Parliament or by the Welsh Ministers” and insert “any Scottish statutory instrumentor any statutory instrument made by the Welsh Ministers”.—(Baroness Ashton of Upholland.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill [HL]

Lord Davies of Oldham: My Lords, I beg to move the Motion standing in my name on the Order Paper.

Moved, That it be an instruction to the Grand Committee to which the Dormant Bank and Building Society Accounts Bill [HL] has been committed that they consider the Bill in the following order:

Clauses 1 to 5

Schedule 1Clauses 6 to 14Schedule 2Clause 15Schedule 3Clauses 16 to 31.—(Lord Davies of Oldham.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.

Middle East

3.31 pm

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): My Lords, with permission, I will repeat a Statement made earlier in the Commons. The Statement is as follows:

“With permission, Mr Speaker, I will make a Statement on the Middle East peace process, following the Annapolis conference which I attended yesterday at the US Naval Academy in Maryland. “For several years there has been neither peace nor a peace process in the Middle East. Insecurity for Israelis and suffering of Palestinians have fed off each other, deepening divides and fomenting mutual distrust. The conference represents a determined attempt by both sides, and by the United States, to break the cycle of violence and discord. Its significance comes as much from the attendance list as from its results: representation from nearly 50 countries showed the degree of concern about the current situation as well as the consensus for action. As I pointed out in my contribution, in 1993, at the signing of the Oslo accords, the late Prime Minister Rabin talked of an

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atmosphere of hope tinged with apprehension; today in the region there is an atmosphere of apprehension tinged with occasional hope. Yesterday represented one such ray of hope, but the context of extremism, terrorism and the dangers of nuclear proliferation provides a spur to action.“All present understood that the Annapolis conference could be a success only if it was the start, not the end, of a new drive for peace based on the vision of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side. There is now a clear and shared goal: to quote from the joint understanding read out at the beginning of the meeting by President Bush, it is, UN Resolutions 242 and 338 provide the agreed foundation for progress.“There is also a timetable: today the parties will meet at the White House; a joint steering committee will meet continuously from 12 December; President Abbas and Prime Minister Olmert will meet bi-weekly; there will be an international donors’ conference in Paris on 17 December; the Russian Foreign Minister has offered Moscow as the venue for a review conference by the end of the first quarter of 2008; I offered London as the venue for a meeting after that; and crucially there is an end date—all agreed that these negotiations should seek to conclude by the end of 2008. “There is also follow-up: the parties have committed themselves to implementing their respective obligations under the road map and have agreed to a US, Palestinian and Israeli mechanism, led by the US, to follow this up. The US has committed itself to monitoring and judging the fulfilment of these commitments. That means an end to settlement construction, the removal of outposts constructed after March 2001 and renewed efforts on security in the Occupied Territories.“The rest of the international community will have a vital role to play. We know that peace and prosperity depend on each other. We need a massive upgrade in our collective effort. The UK is in the lead. First, the UK has committed up to $500 million to the Paris donor conference. This will stand alongside European and American commitments. We look forward to working with Arab colleagues on an Arab economic initiative side by side with the Arab peace initiative.“Secondly, our priority is to help build effective national Palestinian security forces. We have been involved with this effort for several years now. We commit our people, resources and experience to making a difference on the ground. In Nablus, in Bethlehem, in Jericho—where I saw raw recruits for myself 10 days ago—the fight for security is the fight for legitimacy and hope. It is often unglamorous, it is always hard and it is absolutely necessary. President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad are committed to the task. We will support them.

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“Thirdly, we need to support the parties as they strive for success. Prosperity driven by the private sector needs reform driven by the public sector. The reform and development plan prepared by Prime Minister Fayyad is a statement of intent about clean government, responsible budgeting and politics based on promises that are made to be kept. This will bear fruit only if Palestinians are given the freedom to work, to trade and to reap the benefits of commerce. The efforts of Tony Blair are vital in this regard.“Fourthly, we should not lose sight of Gaza, an integral part of a future Palestinian state. Continuing rocket fire into Israel by extremist groups within Gaza is a reminder of the dangers Israel faces. However, the deteriorating humanitarian situation is a real cause of concern. The UN Secretary-General spoke forcefully to this issue yesterday and we support his efforts to ensure that the interests of the civilian population are not forgotten.“Fifthly, our immediate focus must be on Israel and Palestine. But any peace must be comprehensive. The current situation in Lebanon vividly illustrates the need for a wider settlement. The prize is full normalisation of relations between Israel and the Arab world. I encouraged the Syrian Foreign Minister to attend the conference when I met him in New York in September, and the presence and speech of the Deputy Foreign Minister was a welcome sign of engagement. “There are, of course, plenty of reasons for people to be sceptical about this latest stage in the search for peace. Given the experience of the last 16 years, since the Madrid conference, we should indeed all be cautious. The road from Annapolis will be hard, but there is a real basis for engagement. The unmatched injuries of the Jewish people and the stateless tragedy of the Palestinians make both sides fearful of compromise; but without compromise there is only fear. Thirty years ago the late President Sadat said of his bid for peace: We all have a duty to do what we can to challenge the sceptics, to prove them wrong, and to help Palestinians and Israelis live out their common humanity”.

My Lords, that concludes the Statement.

3.38 pm

Lord Howell of Guildford: My Lords, I am sure that we are all grateful to the Minister for repeating the Statement by the Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary. We warmly welcome the commitment to a peace treaty by the end of 2008. It is a very steep hill to climb but the commitment has been made. But does the Minister agree that it will take a lot more than a handshake to achieve this? We have to think in terms of a series of meetings and it is good that that seems to be the aim—although in a very compressed timescale—with the quarterly review conferences coming up. Does he accept that the key problems are still there, as they have been over the years? As we

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know, one of the key problems is the Israeli settlements which, frankly, bisect Palestine. It is not just a question of new construction, as mentioned in the Statement, but of the ugly fact that Israeli settlements virtually cut across the geographical area of what would be Palestine. Until something is changed in that pattern, the viability of the Palestinian state is put in question. The status of refugees and the division of Jerusalem have to be sorted out, but I have no doubt that the settlements issue is the really difficult one for both sides.

Then there is the central problem of Hamas, which has denounced the whole meeting as treachery and has announced that to Mahmoud Abbas. That reminds us that he holds sway only on the West Bank, not in Gaza. Even his sway on the West Bank seems to be somewhat limited by the operation of some of the al-Fatah and al-Aqsa brigades.

Perhaps I may ask the Minister a few background questions. What about the Arab Saudi-led peace initiative of a year or so ago and the ideas of the so-called Arab quartet—Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—which seemed very constructive at the time? What about the involvement of the other great powers of Asia? We have heard that Russia, which is part of the quartet, has offered a site for one of the review conferences. That is good news, but China, India and Japan may have been quiet on recent occasions. These countries have, if anything, a far greater interest in peace and stability in the Middle East and a far greater dependence on oil than we have. They have a part to play and I hope that that came into the conference considerations, or will do in the review conferences.

We note that Tony Blair will call a meeting in Paris for aid donors, and that is all to the good—that is a vital role—but are we making it clear that the key to development of a new and viable Palestine is just as much in allowing enterprise to spring up as it is in infrastructure aid? If enterprise is to spring up, peace and low taxes are needed as much as large subventions from outside. We know that wrongly given aid can stifle development rather than assist it. I will believe that development is under way when all the shops in the old city of East Jerusalem begin to be opened again with their shutters taken down and coffee offered. Then we will know that Palestine and Palestinian Jerusalem is at last recovering after all these miserable years.

Finally, was the question of Lebanon addressed in detail? It is mentioned in the Statement, but does the Minister agree that, although there have been many dramatic stories in the press, a peaceful solution in Lebanon on the presidential issue is still possible and even likely? Given that in the end Syria attended the conference, which is good, was the issue of reducing Syrian interference in Lebanon linked with what might be gained regarding negotiations with Israel on the Golan Heights issue? Is it possible that at least that bit of the jigsaw might now be put in place? Those are my questions for the Minister and I am grateful to him for repeating the Statement.

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