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Ministerial Travel

Volume 451: debated on Wednesday 8 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to offset the carbon dioxide emissions caused by ministerial travel in his Department. (98738)

All central Government ministerial and official air travel is being offset from 1 April 2006. Departmental aviation emissions are calculated on an annual basis and subsequently offset through payments to a central fund. The fund purchases certified emissions reductions credits from energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with sustainable development benefits, located in developing countries.

In addition, offsetting the flights of DEFRA, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, the Ministry of Defence and the Prime Minister has been backdated to 1 April 2005.

Carbon dioxide emissions arising from 32 (Royal) Squadron flights are included in the Government's carbon offsetting commitment. Carbon emissions arising from the use of these flights will be recorded and offset in the same way as the use of scheduled flights.

In addition to offsetting the CO2 attributable to air travel, DEFRA is planning to offset departmental road and rail travel by June 2007.