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Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what representations he has made to Ofgen about the treatment of CHP in Ofgen's review of the initial impact of NETA. [160798]

Mr. Meacher: The Minister for Energy asked Ofgen to undertake a review of the initial impact of NETA on smaller generators based on its first two months of live operation. I have made clear to the chief executive of Ofgen the importance which I attach to an early and successful outcome to the review, so that the concerns which CHP generators are expressing about the impact of NETA are thoroughly addressed. CHP has significant environmental benefits, and we need to ensure that its full potential can still be realised within the context of NETA. As part of the CHP strategy, which we will issue for consultation later this year, we will also examine other ways of ensuring that our target of 10,000MW of installed CHP capacity is met by 2010.

Energy Efficiency

Mr. Gareth R. Thomas: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will publish (a) the projections of the cost per tonne of carbon saved and (b) the absolute carbon saving projections for (i) renewable energy, (ii) domestic energy efficiency and (iii) combined heat and power as originally outlined on pages 17 and 46 of the 1998 DETR document, the UK Climate Change Programme: Consultation paper. [160799]

Mr. Meacher: The Government have not updated the general costs per tonne of carbon saved that were included in the 1998 climate change consultation paper. We produced a qualitative assessment of the costs and benefits in the UK's climate change programme that was published in November 2000. The Government will consider whether it is possible to re-assess the costs per tonne of carbon saved from each policy in the future, as part of the formal evaluation of the climate change programme in 2004-05. The results of this evaluation will be published.

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The climate change programme included estimated carbon savings for all those policies for which savings could be quantified. We estimate that delivery of the Government's target to provide 10 per cent. of the UK's electricity from renewable energy, as against around 5 per cent. that might otherwise have been achieved, could bring savings of 2.5 MtC in 2010. Extensive discussions about the potential costs and benefits of domestic energy efficiency confirmed that a range of simple measures could save up to 2.7-3.8 MtC per year by 2010. The UK's current CHP capacity of around 4,700 MWe is estimated to save around 4 MtC per year. The carbon savings from increased use of CHP are reflected within those for a range of other policies within the programme, particularly the climate change levy, climate change agreements and community heating.

GM Maize

Mr. Alan Williams: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions which EU country gave part C consent for GM maize, under European Directive 90/220/EC; on what date the consent was given; and to whom. [160720]

Mr. Meacher: European member states have given Part C consent, under European Directive 90/220/EC, to four types of GM maize. One is for importation and processing only. The other three are for importation and cultivation in the European Union (EU).

The genetically modified (GM) maize in the farm-scale evaluation programme is known as T25 maize (consent reference number--C/F/95/12/07). The French competent authority received the initial application for part C approval of T25 maize in 1995, which was for both commercial cultivation and for importation. Following consideration by other member states, the French granted formal approval for T25 maize on 3 August 1998, to AgrEvo France. This company is known as Aventis CropScience UK in the UK.


Angela Smith: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on his policy in respect of the House of Lords' judgment in the recent cases involving planning and human rights. [161064]

Mr. Raynsford: We welcome this judgment. These cases, involving the ability of the Secretary of State to make decisions on planning schemes, are of great importance to the planning system and have wide implications. The House of Lords today unanimously upheld the Secretary of State's role under the planning Acts and have found no breach of article 6 of the european convention on human rights. They found that there is no incompatibility between the Secretary of State being responsible for formulating planning policy as well as for taking decisions in individual cases. He is democratically accountable to Parliament and, through the process of judicial review, to the courts. They found that article 6 is satisfied. Planning cases in the pipeline will continue to be handled in the normal way.

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Cleansing Services Group

Mr. Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what reports he has received from the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive concerning the incident at the Cleansing Services Group Ltd. site at Sandhurst in Gloucestershire on 30 October; and if he will make a statement. [161071]

Mr. Meacher: I have today placed in the Library copies of the progress report the Deputy Prime Minister has received from Sir John Harman, chairman of the Environment Agency, on the incident that occurred on 30 October at the CSG Ltd. facility at Sandhurst. The report has been compiled jointly by the agency and the Health and Safety Executive. It advises that, while no form of contamination has been found off-site that might be hazardous to human health or the environment and there is no risk to the food chain, some local residents have reported symptoms some time after the fire. The report also confirms that the investigation by the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive into criminal offences that may have been committed is on-going.

I understand the concerns of local residents about the incident and their calls for a public inquiry. The Prime Minister made it clear in his response to a question from the hon. Member for Tewkesbury (Mr. Robertson) on 25 April 2001, Official Report, column 296, that we would make a determination as to whether there should be a full public inquiry as soon as we received this report. I am now giving the matter urgent consideration and expect to make an announcement in due course.

Renewable Energy

Mr. Burgon: To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if Green Ministers have agreed on the details of a target on purchasing electricity from renewable sources. [161074]

Mr. Meacher: I am pleased to announce that the Green Ministers Committee has agreed the following target:

The review of 2003 will include consideration of increasing or bringing forward the target.



Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will set out the percentage of pupils gaining five GCSEs at grades A* to C for each of the schools in an Excellence in Cities area for (a) 1999 and (b) 2000. [158849]

Ms Estelle Morris [holding answer 26 April 2001]: Every mainstream secondary school in the authorities listed benefits or will benefit from the Excellence in Cities

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programme. In addition, smaller groups of school--including secondary schools--will benefit from inclusion within the new excellence clusters.

Schools in the first 25 phase 1 EiC authorities came on stream from September 1999 (academic year 1999-2000), those in the 23 phase 2 authorities from September 2000 (academic year 2000-01), and schools in the 11 phase 3 authorities (including North Sefton) and 11 excellence clusters will begin implementing the programme from September 2001 (academic year 2001-02).

I refer the hon. Member to the secondary school performance tables published by my Department for information on individual school achievements. Overall, the proportion of pupils in EiC phase 1 partnerships achieving five or more GCSE/GNVQ grades A*-C rose by 2.3 percentage points between 1999 and 2000, compared with an average increase of 1.3 percentage points for all other maintained schools in England.

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