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Environmental Liability Directive

Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

20. To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on the application of the polluter pays principle in the EU Environmental Liability Directive to the release of genetically modified organisms. (117832)

My right hon. Friend has regular discussions with the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry on a range of issues. The Government are currently consulting on its policy on implementation of the directive, which will strengthen application of the polluter pays principle in respect of a number of forms of environmental damage including potentially from activities related to the release of GMOs.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment he has made of the effects of the transposition of the EC Environmental Liability on the capacity of environmental protection to deliver overall benefit. (111506)

The Environmental Liability Directive is concerned with the prevention and remedying of narrowly-defined environmental damage. A consultation seeking views on options for implementing the Environmental Liability Directive was launched in December 2006. It includes a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) which estimates, on the best information available, the cost benefits associated with the different options.

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he is taking to ensure that the transposition of the EC Environmental Liability Directive conforms with the Government's policy that the polluter should pay. (111530)

The Environmental Liability Directive is founded on the “polluter pays” principle. The Government wishes to encourage a change in behaviours so as to bring about reductions in the risks of serious environmental damage occurring and more effective application of the “polluter pay” principle where such damage does occur. The options in the consultation document launched in December, including the Government’s preference, would reinforce the “polluter pays” principle.