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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office & Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (Lord Jones of Birmingham): The low-carbon buildings programme is the Governments £86 million capital grants programme for microgeneration technologies, launched in April 2006. The main objectives are to demonstrate the potential for microgeneration, encouraging both energy efficiency and microgeneration technologies in a range of buildings, driving down costs in the process and making the microgeneration market more sustainable.
Further information on programme spend going forward can be found at www.lowcarbonbuildings.org.uk/info/stats/.
In light of stated government objectives to reduce United Kingdom greenhouse gas emissions, what assessment they have made of their increase in emissions allocation in the second phase of the European Emissions Trading Scheme. [HL411]
The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Rooker): The most significant factor contributing to increases in UK carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions seen in 2005 and 2006 is greater electricity generation from coal burning. The price of gas has been at a level that means that it has been more profitable to generate electricity through the increased use of coal.
The introduction of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) has put a price on CO2 emissions. Power stations are covered by the scheme and must account for their emissions by surrendering allowances.
In phase I of the EU ETS, the price of allowances fell significantly due to oversupply in the market. It is still more profitable for electricity generation to come from increased use of coal even when factoring in additional carbon costs of burning coal compared to gas.
In phase II of the EU ETS, the European Commissions decision to request significant reductions on several member states caps will help to ensure greater scarcity of allowances in the market. This should deliver a carbon price that incentivises cost-effective emission reductions and investment in clean technology.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The details of the proposal to include aviation in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme are still being negotiated in the EU Environment Council and this includes the start date. The UK supports the inclusion of all arriving and departing flights as soon as possible, certainly within phase II of the existing scheme, and we have been negotiating on this basis.
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Governments policy on membership of the single currency is unchanged. It remains as set out by the Chancellor in his Statement to the House of Commons in October 1997 and again in the Chancellors Statement on the five tests assessment in June 2003.
The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Ashton of Upholland): There are no proposals to appoint regional Ministers in the Lords. I have arranged that Questions in the House of Lords relating to the work
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Whether recent releases by the Government of Israel of detainees have included any Palestinian parliamentarians; and whether they and the quartet will continue to seek the release of all parliamentarians who have not been convicted by a duly constituted court. [HL384]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): Since July 2006, Israel has released over 300 Palestinian prisoners and agreed to grant amnesties to 178 Palestinians, mainly from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. None of these prisoners included Palestinian Legislative Council members. On 19 November, the Israeli Government announced plans to release a further 441 Palestinian prisoners. We have not yet seen details of whether the planned release will include the Palestinian Legislative Council members.
We remain concerned by the arrest of members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. We continue to call for all those detained to be either released or subject to the due legal process. The quartet statement of 30 May 2007 noted that, the detention of elected members of the Palestinian Government and legislature raises particular concerns and called for them to be released.
Lord Rooker: The PSNI has advised that due to an administrative error an officer did supply confidential information to a Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The PSNI has formally apologised to the person whose details were disclosed and this apology has been accepted.
In respect of private sector contribution to the Jubilee line extension, how much money was committed at the time of the announcement of the funding of the project, how much was actually paid, and whether the amount of such contributions was in any way dependent on achieving a particular completion date for the project. [HL322]
Lord Bassam of Brighton: Approval to begin construction of the Jubilee line extension (JLE) was given to London Regional Transport in October 1993. The contributions paid by private companies towards the costs of the JLE were subject to the agreements between London Underground Limited (LUL) and those companies.
I am advised by LUL that agreement was reached between LUL and Olympia & York (later Canary Wharf Limited (CWL)) in 1993 that CWL would provide £398 million in total towards the JLE. This consisted of payments before and during the construction of the JLE and for 25 years after its opening. Payments totalling £145 million were made by CWL.
The 1993 agreement was renegotiated in 1999 so that CWL would make an earlier single payment in the order of £50 million in 2000, which sum had an equivalent value to the net amount outstanding under the 1993 agreement. It also provided that the extension would open at a specified time and with a certain capacity that would increase over time.
In 2003, a further agreement was reached between LUL and CWL that in satisfaction of rebates of £95 million due to CWL in respect of its contribution, LUL would deliver specified improvements to the Jubilee line or face penalties. These improvements include the additional capacity at Canary Wharf station provided in 2004, the seventh car for existing trains provided in 2005 and the introduction of new signalling and train control systems by 2009.
In 1990, an agreement was reached between LUL and British Gas regarding the JLE and in particular North Greenwich, which consisted of cash and benefits in kind that were estimated to have a value of around £25 million in 1989.
Lord Bassam of Brighton: The system for managing the movement of abnormal loads on the local highway network in Kent is managed on behalf of Kent County Council by a contractor who is based at an address in Surrey.
What representations they have made to the Government of Russia concerning their belief that Russian restrictions on the international observation of Duma elections on 2 December will hamper the work of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europes Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and the Council of Europe in concluding an effective election and monitoring mission. [HL351]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK has raised the issue in the reinforced Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Permanent Council in Vienna.
The Government support the subsequent decision of the OSCEs Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) not to observe the Russian Duma elections under the unprecedented restrictions concerning numbers of observers and preparations imposed by the Russian authorities. The Government remain deeply concerned by Russias actions, which undermine the principles of objective election observation.
The UK fully supports the EU presidency statement of 16 November, regretting that, due to unprecedented restrictions and a number of bureaucratic obstacles, ODIHR was unable to act on the invitation issued by the Russian Federation to observe the Duma elections, and reiterating full support to the election observation activities of ODIHR and efforts undertaken to ensure the deployment of an observation mission. The EU troika delivered this statement in Moscow to Deputy Foreign Minister Grushko on Monday 19 November.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Lord Adonis): The national curriculum in England requires pupils aged between 11 and 14 to study the Holocaust and this has not changed following the recent key stage 3 review, where the Holocaust remains one of the very few compulsory elements of the history curriculum.
Whether they have made representations to the Government of Sudan about the recent sentencing to death in Khartoum of 10 Darfuri men for the murder of Sudanese journalist Mohamed Taha; and, if not, whether they will raise this case with the Government of Sudan, including allegations of politicisation and torture. [HL286]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): The UK agreed with EU partners that the local EU presidency will carry out a démarche on the Government of Sudan about
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The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord West of Spithead): The Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission (POAC) is currently considering the case of the Peoples Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) in an appeal against the decision of the Secretary of State not to de-proscribe them.
Which member states of the European Union, other than the United Kingdom, have not accepted
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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Lord Malloch-Brown): As set out on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the United Kingdom is the only member state of the European Union not to have accepted the first Optional Protocol to the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Which member states of the European Union, other than the United Kingdom, have not made a declaration under Article 14 of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination accepting the competence of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination to receive and consider individual communications. [HL302]
Lord Malloch-Brown: As set out on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the member states of the European Union, other than the United Kingdom, not to have made a declaration under Article 14 of the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination are Estonia, Greece, Latvia and Lithuania.
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