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The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Government have researched options for the licit cultivation of opiates in Afghanistan, particularly their potential use for medical purposes. Our conclusion was that the Government of Afghanistan did not have the necessary control mechanisms in place to ensure the crop was not illegally diverted. Although the capacity and capability of the Afghan state is growing, the lack of robust control mechanisms remains a risk. The Government of Afghanistan have reached the same conclusion. They have ruled out the licit cultivation of opiates as a means of tackling the illegal drugs trade.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations and applications they have received about applying for a public service obligation under European Regulations 2408/92/EEC and 95/93/EEC in order to allow the restoration of air services to Heathrow Airport from Durham Tees Valley Airport. [HL1612]
The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): The Department for Transport has discussed the possibility and the costs of imposing a public service obligation on the route with a number of stakeholders from the Tees Valley area. Neither the regional development agency, One North East, nor any other stakeholder in the region has submitted an application.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what systems are in place to support families with children who are British citizens formerly resident in the United Kingdom who return to this country and have no other means of support. [HL1367]
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Department for Work and Pensions (Lord McKenzie of Luton): Subject to immigration conditions all social security benefits are available to people who meet the qualifying conditions.
To pass the test everyone, including British citizens returning to the UK after a period abroad, has to show that they have a right to reside and are habitually resident in the common travel area (CTA), which includes the United Kingdom as well as the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they plan to establish, in collaboration with other European governments, enhanced and better-publicised information exchanges about climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes between Chinese and European governmental, academic and industrial organisations. [HL1379]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Both the UK and the EU engage in regular dialogue and co-operation with China on climate change and value this exchange of information and experience. We have encouraged EU countries to co-ordinate and share information on bilateral activities they undertake with China and will continue to do so.
The commitment of the EU and China to co-operation on environment and energy issues, including climate change, was underlined and given an institutional structure under the UK presidency of the EU at the eighth EU-China summit in September 2005. At this summit, a joint declaration on climate change was agreed, launching the EU-China Partnership on Climate Change. This partnership provides a high-level political framework to further strengthen the co-operation between the EU and China by setting out concrete new actions to tackle climate change. These actions are set out in the rolling work plan, as agreed in Beijing on 19 October 2006.
This partnership fully complements the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and has strengthened co-operation and dialogue on climate change including clean energy, and promotes sustainable development that incorporates work on climate change mitigation and adaptation. It also includes co-operation on the development, deployment and transfer of low-carbon technology, including advanced near-zero-emissions coal technology through carbon capture and storage.
At the EU-China summit on 30 November 2009, both sides agreed to upgrade their climate change partnership in order to strengthen policy dialogue and practical co-operation. We hope the upgraded partnership will provide a platform for more comprehensive and strategic engagement on low-carbon development.
Details of the partnership are regularly updated and available through the EUROPA website at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/climat/china.htm.
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are considering providing equal levels of financial support to nuclear and renewable energy sources, in order to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act 2008 and to ensure a secure and balanced range of non-fossil energy sources. [HL1380]
Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: The renewables obligation provides a financial incentive to invest in renewables by placing an obligation on electricity suppliers to source a certain proportion of the electricity they sell to customers from renewable sources.
The Government have been clear that it will be for energy companies to fund, develop and build new nuclear power stations in the UK, including meeting the full costs of decommissioning and their full share of waste management costs.
The attached table contains the number of UK workforce jobs in manufacturing, in June of each year since 1997. Workforce jobs includes employee jobs, self-employed jobs and government-supported trainees. Quarterly data since 1978 are available at www.statistics. gov.uk.
|UK Workforce Jobs (thousands)|
|Whole Economy||Manufacturing||Percentage (%)|
To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will continue their commitment to provide 10 per cent of the international team of election monitors for the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe's election monitoring missions in the Commonwealth of Independent States region. [HL1366]
The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Kinnock of Holyhead): The Government will keep to their existing commitment of providing up to 10 per cent of observers on an ad hoc basis.
To ask Her Majesty's Government what percentage of the total electricity generated in the United Kingdom (a) in the week beginning 14 December 2009, and (b) in each of the following five weeks, was produced by wind power; and what was the peak demand for electricity on each of the days during that period. [HL1528]
The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath): Using daily generation data, operationally metered wind contributed 0.8 per cent of total operationally metered generation during the week of 14 December 2009, and 0.3 per cent, 1.0 per cent, 0.7 per cent, 1.6 per cent and 1.0 per cent in the five following weeks. The highest demand peak during the six-week period, of 58,503 megawatts, occurred on 7 January 2010. The daily peak demand for the six weeks from 14 December 2009 is detailed in the table below.
These generation data are made available by National Grid and only refer to wind power which is operationally metered-ie, around half of the UK onshore wind farms and none of the offshore wind farms. Data from DECC providing a more complete coverage of wind farms are available on a two to three-month lagged basis. Peak demand data are also from National Grid, using the initial demand out-turn measure.
|Date||Peak demand (MW)|
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