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Departmental Carbon Emissions

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how much his Department spent on carbon offsetting in each of the last three years; and to which companies payments for carbon offsetting have been made in each such year. (204111)

The Department for International Development (DFID) is a member of the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF). The GCOF aims to fulfil the Government's commitment to offset emissions attributable to all official and ministerial air travel in central Government. It is available to all central Government Departments and provides a simple and cost-effective way to offset, as well as ensuring high environmental integrity. The GCOF runs for an initial period of three years (2006-07, 2007-08 and 2008-09).

The GCOF is being managed by EEA Fund Management Ltd. who won the contract to source and deliver 255,000 Certified Emission Reduction Credits, with a provision for a further 50,000 credits over three years from a range of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. Credits will be supplied from the project portfolio of Trading Emissions Plc, to whom EEA is the investment adviser.

DFID has to date contributed £175,741 to the scheme, paid during 2007-08 in respect of air travel during 2006-07.

DFID is currently focussing its efforts on reducing carbon emissions from its estate, including the implementation of equipment and procedures to maximise energy efficiency equipment, which for instance has in recent months reduced our electricity consumption in our London Headquarters by over 10 per cent. We were also recently awarded the Energy Efficiency Accreditation certification. Once these measures have been implemented we will make appropriate arrangements to offset any residual carbon emissions.