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Departmental Carbon Emissions

Volume 475: debated on Monday 12 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families how much his Department and its predecessors 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. (204107)

The majority of central Government Departments are members 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). Cabinet Office and DEFRA have offset an extra year (2005-06).

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 (COM) projects. Credits will be supplied from the project portfolio of Trading Emissions plc, to whom EEA is the investment adviser.

Each GCOF participant will be able to provide cost figures for their contributions to the fund. Figures currently available cover 2005/06 (where applicable) and 2006/07. Data are currently being collected for the 2007/08 reporting year and will be available later in the year.

DEFRA has paid £60,014.07 into the GCOF, to offset some 6,056tCO2e from a variety of sources from April 2005 to April 2007.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) has paid £4,635.35 into the GCOF from April 2006 to April 2007. DCSF has also paid Climate Care £94.08 to offset carbon emissions generated from the Sustainable Schools consultation exercise and launch events held during 2006/07. DCSF are committed to offsetting carbon emissions generated from the production of all Sustainable Schools materials.