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Departmental Carbon Emissions

Volume 505: debated on Wednesday 10 February 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice whether (a) his Department and (b) its agencies plan to sign up to the 10:10 campaign for cutting carbon usage in 2010; and if he will publish the (i) criteria and (ii) research upon which such a decision will be taken. (313434)

The Ministry of Justice welcomes the fact that the 10:10 campaign will increase awareness among the public and business about climate change and sustainability. It will help to develop a higher profile of this issue in those sectors that are yet to set themselves any targets for improvement. Some of these businesses will also be our suppliers and this campaign should therefore serve to secure improvements in our supply chain.

Prior to the 10:10 campaign being established, the MOJ had already committed to working towards the stretching long-term pan Government-mandated Sustainable Operations on the Government Estate (SOGE) targets to reduce carbon emissions from offices by:

12.5 per cent. by 2010-11, relative to 1999-2000 levels, and

30 per cent. by 2020, relative to 1999-2000 levels.

Although we are only required to report on the “office estate”, i.e. buildings where professional, administrative or clerical duties are performed, as a further demonstration of the Ministry's commitment to sustainability, the MOJ has chosen to work towards and report on SOGE targets on the wider estate. To that end the Ministry has initiatives in place to reduce carbon emissions throughout our business operations not only in the office estate but also in courts, tribunals and prisons.

HM Courts Service carried out a Low Carbon Technology study in 2008-09, looking at possibility of retro fitting low-to-zero carbon technologies into the existing estate. Many of the. recommendations are now being acted on, for instance, a boiler and air conditioning replacement programme is under way to replace old, inefficient equipment and a trial of voltage optimisation equipment is being carried out.

HM Prison Service launched its own Carbon Management Programme in 2008 and attained the Carbon Trust Standard in April 2009. An innovative project involving Custodial Property and the Carbon Trust subsidiary, Partnerships for Renewables (PfR), has led to a generic options agreement being put in place to erect large scale wind turbines on prison land. An options lease with PfR has been signed for the Sheppey prison with more to follow.

We are also working towards the SOGE target to reduce carbon emissions from road vehicles used for Government administrative operations by 15 per cent. by 2010-11, relative to 2005-06 levels. The MOJ fleets are on target to meet Government targets for all new vehicles coming into service by 2010 of 130 g/km, while we already only procure vehicles that conform to the EU emission requirements set for manufacturers.

HM Government's UK Low Carbon Transition Plan, published on 15 July 2009, announced that all Departments would publish a ‘Carbon Reduction Delivery Plan’, the Ministry of Justice will produce its plan this spring 2010.

The Ministry of Justice and its agencies do not consider it appropriate to sign up to a short-term campaign such as the 10:10 campaign target as it already has an ambitious carbon reduction strategy already in place to meet the Government mandated targets. Going forward a key part of the strategy are projects to establish better quality, more frequent data through the use of Automatic Meter Reading (AMR), enabling more timely action to be taken to reduce energy consumption. Other projects include plans to upgrade building services and to optimise energy use both through technological measures and better energy management practice. The MOJ will continue with its carbon reduction work streams already in place and we will continue to promote the long-term and structured work we have been doing to reduce carbon usage. Further detail can be found at: in_government_ministry_of_justice.asp