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Climate Change

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he plans to take to promote the prevention of deforestation (a) in England and (b) globally as a means of combating climate change; and if he will make a statement. (155652)

Tree felling in England is controlled by the Felling Regulations, which are administered by the Forestry Commission. Deforestation is also subject to the provisions of the Environmental Impact Assessment (Forestry) (England and Wales) Regulations 1999. Permission is not normally granted for deforestation unless it is for the recreation of priority open habitats, which have been lost due to planting with trees; often non-native conifers.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, global emissions from deforestation are already taken into account by developed countries in meeting their emissions reduction commitments. The UK and other European Union (EU) member states are negotiating on how to include emissions from deforestation from developing countries in future climate change agreements, on a voluntary basis.

This process is also supported by UK and EU action to tackle illegal logging and improve sustainable timber procurement, working with international partners including producer and consumer countries. Reducing emissions from deforestation is a key aim of the Environmental Transformation Fund announced in the 2007 Budget. The UK has already announced that £50 million from this Fund will go towards reducing deforestation in the Congo Basin, by promoting sustainable forestry.