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Carbon Emissions

Volume 448: debated on Monday 3 July 2006

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission, what recent estimate has been made of the carbon emissions of the House of Commons; what commitment has been made to reducing such emissions; and if he will make a statement. (81121)

The total quantity of carbon emissions produced on or attributable to the House of Commons element of the estate is estimated at 2,800 tonnes, 60 per cent. of the 4,700 tonnes produced on the Parliamentary Estate during 2005-06.

The House of Commons, together with the House of Lords, has recently adopted a new energy and water savings policy. Features of the new policy include:

£30,000 is being invested annually in energy and water efficiency initiatives;

The Parliamentary Estates Directorate is participating in Whitehall combined heat and power schemes;

Energy and water audits are used when assessing all proposed new building projects;

Efficient appliances, materials and methods will be used when undertaking new works, repairs and maintenance to buildings;

A target 10 per cent. of electricity to be sourced from renewable sources has been set and has already been met;

A system for energy and water monitoring has been established. This will allow progress against agreed targets to be assessed for the estate as a whole, and for each building. Regular feedback on progress and achievements against targets will be provided to the Energy Savers Group, senior management and appropriate committees;

Members of staff in each departmental office in the two Houses are involved in energy and water management as nominated Energy Savers;

The awareness of occupants of the Palace is being raised through energy and water saving campaigns. A series of sustainability seminars has been organised by the Parliamentary Estates Directorate;

Staff are encouraged to contribute ideas and suggestions for improving energy and water efficiency, maintain interest, learn from failures and promote success;

Consultants are considering the utilisation of renewable energy systems on the parliamentary estate.