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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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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 issuesand specifically the halting of airport expansionat 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 aviations contribution to global CO2 emissions. UK aviation contributes less than 1 per cent0.1 per centto 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.
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 alternativelyelectricallypowered 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 Lords 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.
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 possiblecertainly by
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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 Governments 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.
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 Houses 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.
(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..
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.)
to immediately launch good faith bilateral negotiations in order to conclude a peace treaty resolving all outstanding issues, including all core issues without exception, as specified in previous agreements.
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 aimalthough in a very compressed timescalewith 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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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 quartetEgypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirateswhich 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 goodthat is a vital rolebut 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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