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Carbon Emissions

Volume 456: debated on Monday 29 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence when his Department began collecting figures on its carbon emissions; what the volume of emissions was in the most recent period for which figures are available; when the Department started to offset its emissions; how much is expected to be spent on offsetting in 2006-07; and if he will make a statement. (116376)

The Ministry of Defence has recorded energy usage since 1990-91. The most recent year for which figures detailing the volume of departmental emissions are available is financial year 2004-05. I refer the hon. Member to the figures published on 10 October 2006, Official Report, columns 652-53W. Figures for FY 2005-06 are not yet available, but will be published in the Sustainable Development in Government Report 2005-06, a copy of which will be placed in the Library of the House.

The Department does not offset its emissions derived from energy use in buildings and facilities on the defence estate. However, MOD does support the Carbon Trust’s approach to reductions in emissions where offsetting is the final element of a plan to reduce an organisation’s carbon footprint. For MOD, reduction of energy use and increased use of energy from renewable sources will take precedence over carbon offsetting.

MOD has been collecting data on official air travel booked through the Head Office Travel Service, and has agreed to make a financial contribution to Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF) relative to the carbon dioxide emissions resulting from the air travel for civilian staff and service personnel in non-operational posts. The scheme started in April 2006. In 2005-06, MOD’s estimated annual financial contribution to GCOF at £151,658.67 based on a price of 10/tC. It is estimated that MOD will offset some 15,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. This will be revised using actual data from 2006-07 to establish the GCOF contribution required for this financial year.