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Inland Waterways: Freight

Volume 470: debated on Monday 7 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps he has taken to incorporate provision for water-borne freight into his Department’s climate change agreements. (176094)

It is very unlikely that climate change agreements (CCAs) would be relevant to the water-borne freight sector. CCAs provide for a reduction in the climate change levy (CCL) when operators meet challenging energy efficiency targets. However, CCL is not charged on every kind of fuel: it only applies to commodities specified in schedule 6 of the Finance Act 2000 as taxable commodities (including electricity, gas of a kind supplied by a gas utility, liquid petroleum gas and solid fuels). Furthermore, where a taxable commodity is used in a ship operating in international waters it may be eligible for exemption from CCL. Also, in order to qualify, the operator would have to engage in an eligible process, which is defined as either a process regulated under part A of the Pollution Prevention and Control (England and Wales) Regulations 2000 or meet specific energy intensity criteria. Water-borne freight is unlikely to meet either of these criteria.