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Departmental Carbon Emissions

Volume 476: debated on Wednesday 21 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health 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. (204112)

The Department started offsetting the carbon emissions resulting from our business air travel in 2006-07. In that year we paid a total of £9,094 to the Government Carbon Offsetting Fund (GCOF). This represents an estimated total of 917.62 tonnes of CO2 emitted from 3,620,190 business kilometres flown.

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