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14 Jan 2009 : Column WA141



14 Jan 2009 : Column WA141

Written Answers

Wednesday 14 January 2009

Agriculture: Pesticides

Questions

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The protection of human health is paramount. Before they are approved pesticides are rigorously assessed using a wide range of data analysed using internationally recognised risk assessment methods. We do not approve pesticides if we are concerned about possible effects on people, including users, consumers, bystanders and residents.

There is a range of methods by which the Government receive information related to whether the use of pesticides could be causing harm. Possible incidents can be reported to, and investigated by, the Pesticides Incidents Appraisal Panel (PIAP). The Government also monitor scientific literature and commission research, including studies on suggested associations between specific pesticides and potential long-term effects or illnesses.

Pesticide product approval holders are also required by law to inform the Government of any adverse data relating to their products.

The Government are advised by the independent Advisory Committee on Pesticides (ACP). The ACP regularly considers any new information available regarding possible effects related to pesticides and advises on what action is required.

Asked by Lord Campbell-Savours

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: I refer my noble friend to my Answer on 16 December (Official Report, col. 736).



14 Jan 2009 : Column WA142

Armed Forces: Aircraft

Question

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): None. The Tornado GR4 force is currently planned to go out of service in 2025 while Harrier is currently planned to reach its OSD by 2018.

Armed Forces: Equipment

Questions

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Defence (Baroness Taylor of Bolton): When estimating whole-life costs for new equipment all phases (concept, assessment, demonstration, manufacture, in-service and disposal) of the equipment's life are taken into account.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: Whole life costs for a project are taken into account in the approvals system as part of the investment appraisal which is undertaken when a decision is made between investment options. The precise point at which an investment appraisal takes place varies according to the circumstances of an individual project.

Asked by Lord Astor of Hever

Baroness Taylor of Bolton: We do not as a rule release annual funding profiles, such as those contained in the equipment programme, as these are planning assumptions that are inevitably subject to a significant amount of variation, and their availability could also prejudice our commercial interests.



14 Jan 2009 : Column WA143

Biodiversity: Target Areas

Question

Asked by Lord Dykes

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The Government agree that a successor to the 2010 target is needed, and we are committed to working with national, EU and other international partners to identify a successor target that is both realistic and challenging.

Climate Change

Question

Asked by Lord Lawson of Blaby

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The recent developments in climate science and in the analysis of potential impacts referred to in the First Report of the Committee on Climate Change are advances in these fields that have been made since the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution recommended that the UK should reduce CO2 emissions by 60 per cent by 2050 in its report published in 2000.

These advances are summarised in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Fourth Assessment Report (which summarises scientific research in these areas published or in press up until 2006) or, in the case of more recent material, published in peer-reviewed academic journals. The specific developments are outlined on page 9 of the report, and include advances such as:

work on the carbon cycle has highlighted the danger that global warming will reduce the rate of absorption of atmospheric CO2 by terrestrial carbon sinks, indicating that for any given level of manmade emissions there will be a higher long-term increase in CO2 concentrations and hence temperatures;increasingly, models have estimated the warming caused by all greenhouse gases, including non-CO2 gases;research has shown that atmospheric pollution is likely to have masked about 0.3°C to 0.5°C of the greenhouse gas-induced warming that would otherwise have occurred this century;the reduction in summer Arctic sea ice extent in recent years has been at the high end of model predictions and the summer melt of the Greenland ice sheet has accelerated; and

14 Jan 2009 : Column WA144

there have been advances in our understanding of the range of potential climate change impacts, their regional variation and the possibility of abrupt or irreversible changes. For example, there is new and stronger evidence of observed impacts of climate change on unique and vulnerable systems, with increasing levels of adverse impacts as temperatures increase.

Climate Change: Deforestation

Question

Asked by Lord Eden of Winton

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): At the 14th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Poznan, Ministers from key developed and developing countries signed a statement outlining their commitment to take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and encourage sustainable forest management and conservation. The agreement to these principles is an important step towards reaching agreement on including forests in a future climate change agreement.

The statement covers the following key principles:

criteria for national strategies, recognising that national ownership and commitment to REDD in developing countries is a precondition for success;the need for a reliable framework for monitoring, reporting and verification which is crucial to the integrity and credibility of REDD efforts;recognition that financial flows to REDD efforts must be substantial, results based and predictable in the long term; and,the importance of transparency, co-operation and rationalisation between funding agencies.

There is currently a large investment gap in efforts to develop an international REDD demonstration framework. Recognising this, the UK will make a contribution of up to £100 million to support and address the transformational investment needs of countries to make the reforms necessary to reduce deforestation and degradation.

The funding will provide support to countries seeking to initiate change towards low carbon emission and climate-resilient sustainable forest management. It will help to demonstrate and implement the measures required for a country to reduce overall emissions from forestry and potentially access payments from a future REDD funding mechanism.



14 Jan 2009 : Column WA145

Crime: Domestic Violence

Questions

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): Victims of domestic violence and members of their family are eligible to receive all National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence-approved (NICE) psychological therapies, including guided self-help, counselling, computerised cognitive behavioural therapy, behavioural activation and exercise. Counselling is one of the modalities of psychological intervention approved by NICE for treating depression and anxiety disorders.

We are increasing the availability of these services in primary care through the improving access to psychological therapies programme (IAPT). IAPT aims to help primary care trusts (PCTs) implement NICE guidelines and improve access to psychological therapies in England for people with depression or anxiety disorders. It is supported by a significant national investment rising to £173 million by 2010-11. Our plan is to have trained 3,600 more therapists who will help to provide 900,000 more people with access to psychological therapies by 2010-11.

In addition, 11 pathfinder PCTs are now examining the needs of specific groups, including children and young people, new mothers, older people, black and minority ethnic groups, offenders, people with long- term conditions and those with medically unexplained symptoms, and to see how access to a range of therapies for these groups could be further improved.

Asked by Baroness Miller of Chilthorne Domer

Lord Darzi of Denham: The department has provided practical guidance and training to healthcare professionals working with service users who may have experienced or are experiencing domestic abuse. The domestic abuse handbook and cd-rom, Responding to Domestic Abuse: A Handbook For Health Professionals, which was published in December 2005, provides advice on how health services can respond to victims of domestic abuse.

A copy of the handbook has already been placed in the Library.

Defra: Drinking Water Inspectors

Question

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): There are two reasons for the increase in drinking water inspectors since 2001: additional duties when new regulations came into force in 2004 and the introduction of competition following the Water Act 2003 which has increased the number of licensed operators. Their operational area is England and Wales. Inspectors interact with water company staff and contractors on a daily basis independently assessing, advising and reporting on all the technical aspects of water supply operations and water testing integral to the provision of safe drinking water to the public.

Employment Tribunals

Question

Asked by Lord Monson

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): Due to the number of categories under which an award can be made, it is impracticable for employment tribunals to record details in this way.

Energy: Wind Turbines

Questions

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): The installed capacity of wind turbines on which the percentage increases were based was measured at the end of the calendar year. Much of the installation work for offshore wind turbines is carried out in the summer when offshore weather conditions are usually more conducive to such work. Hence generation from the new turbines will make only a small contribution during their year of installation, but a full contribution during the subsequent year.



14 Jan 2009 : Column WA147

Asked by Lord Taylor of Holbeach

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: Official statistics for installed capacity and generation are produced in the Digest of UK Energy Statistics (DUKES). The figures for the years in question are:

Year

2005

2006

2007

Installed Capacity (MW)

213.8

303.8

393.8

Generation (GWh)

403

651

783


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