To ask the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on his policy on making environmental assessments for proposed energy policies, programmes and projects.
My ministerial colleagues and I give full weight to environmental factors when considering such proposals. In preparing their advice on proposals my officials take account, where appropriate, of the guidance set out in the Department of the Environment's guide on "Policy Appraisal and the Environment". The Department's report on the Government's expenditure plans within the energy sector 1992–93 to 1994–95 included an account of the environmental aspects of the Department's activities. The departmental objectives as set out in that report have recently been extended to make clear our intention of seeking to ensure that environmental aspects are properly recognised in all areas of the Department's work.