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Volume 406: debated on Monday 9 June 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps her Department is taking to ensure the compatibility of the new EU emissions trading scheme with the Energy Efficiency Commitment introduced in April 2002. [116172]

This Department has the lead responsibility in Government for the EU emissions Trading scheme. The Government will take into account all existing policies, including the first Energy Efficiency Commitment, that affect emissions of sectors that will come into the EU emission trading scheme in preparing the draft of the UK's national allocation plan. We will also incorporate estimates of the impact on emissions from forthcoming policies in determining the allocation of allowances.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what progress has been made by her Department towards meeting the target of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent. by 2050; and what representations she has received. [116180]

The Energy White Paper accepted the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution's (RCEP) recommendation that the UK should put itself on a path towards a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of some 60 per cent. from current levels by about 2050. The Energy White Paper sets out a long term strategic vision for energy policy, setting out long-term strategies and shorter-term policies to put us on this path. A cross-governmental network, the Sustainable Energy Policy Network, will ensure that the aims set out in the Energy White Paper are delivered. The network will report annually on the progress being made towards these aims.Provisional data for carbon dioxide emissions are now available for 2002. This data shows emissions fell by an estimated 8 to 9 per cent. between 1990 and 2002, which demonstrates that the Government are making progress towards the domestic goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 20 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what representations she has received concerning progress being made towards the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 12 per cent. by 2012. [116181]

The UK's target under the Kyoto Protocol is to reduce emissions of a basket of six greenhouse gases to 12.5 per cent. below base year levels by 2008–2012.Data for emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases for 2001, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in April 2003, show that emissions fell by 12.3 per cent. between the base year and 2001.Our latest projections also indicate that we are well on course to meet our Kyoto commitment. This conclusion is supported by two recent, independent assessments.The Secretariat of the UNFCCC, in its report on the in-depth review of the UK's Third National Communication (3NC) report, published in May 2003, stated that the UK has put in place a diverse and innovative spectrum of measures to tackle climate change and is on course to meet its Kyoto greenhouse gas emissions target.The Sustainable Development Commission also found, in its audit of the UK Climate Change Programme published in February 2003, that the UK appears very likely to achieve its Kyoto commitment.