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Departments: Manpower

Volume 458: debated on Thursday 15 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many civil servants are working on policy on anaerobic digestion, broken down by grade; and if he will make a statement. (126176)

A cross-cutting project team is co-ordinating work across DEFRA to develop policy on anaerobic digestion. This regularly involves 14 individuals across five DEFRA divisions as well as a number of others. The total level of staff resources dedicated to the work on anaerobic digestion is equivalent to just under two full-time staff, broken down by grade as follows:

Number

Grade 5

0.15

Grade 7

0.35

Senior Executive Officer

0.8

Higher Executive Officer

0.05

Executive Officer

0.2

Administrative Officer

0.25

Anaerobic digestion has the potential to make a significant contribution to a number of key Government objectives. Most notably, this includes reducing greenhouse emissions from waste management and agriculture, and improving air quality, as well as providing a source of renewable energy.

We will shortly be publishing the UK Biomass Strategy, which will include details of how we propose to work with interested parties to drive faster growth in the use of this technology. We are also currently assessing the level of staff resources that will be required to deliver the UK Biomass Strategy.

In parallel, the national Waste Strategy, which is also to be published this spring, will set out the important contribution which anaerobic digestion can make to achieving our waste management goals.