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Government Departments: Carbon Emissions

Volume 474: debated on Thursday 3 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what steps the Government have taken to cut carbon dioxide emissions across Whitehall. (198541)

On 18 March, the Government published their response to the Sustainable Development Commission’s latest assessment of Sustainable Development in Government 2007. This response reports on actions taken and planned, centrally and by individual departments, to achieve the sustainable operations targets for the government estate, which include targets to reduce carbon emissions.

The central actions taken include:

making financial support available to Departments through Salix Finance, a revolving loan fund that enables departments to invest in energy efficiency capital projects;

funding the Carbon Trust to provide advice to Government departments on reducing their carbon emissions;

strengthening the Sustainable Development Commission’s watchdog function and ensuring Departments report annually on progress towards the targets;

announcing in the 2008 Budget, plans to establish a “centre of expertise in sustainable procurement”. The objectives of this centre, which will be overseen by a new Director General Post of Chief Sustainability officer within the Office of Government Commerce, include providing guidance and support to help departments rapidly develop the capability and capacity to deliver our commitments.

The Government’s response is available on the Cabinet Office website:

http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/reports/sustainable_development.aspx