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Carbon Dioxide

John Barrett: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average amount is of carbon dioxide produced per (a) car, (b) motor vehicle and (c) household in each of the last five years in the United Kingdom. [35785]

Mr. Meacher: The following table shows the average amount of CO 2 produced per car, per vehicle and per household for each year during the period 1996–2000. (The last complete set of annual data is for the year 2000).

Average CO2 produced each year, per car/vehicle/household


Renewable Energy

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what forms of renewable energy generation take place on the Government estate. [36005]

Mr. Meacher: Renewable energy generation technologies used on the Government estate in England include: wind power, active and passive solar thermal systems, "ambient energy" heat pumps and waste heat from incinerators.

A number of Departments are investigating the possibility of installing renewable energy generation technologies on their estates, such as the Defence Logistics Organisation scheme to install a 12 MW wind energy project in the west of Scotland.

Mr. Carmichael: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what proportion of electricity used within the Government Estate is supplied from renewable generators. [36006]

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Mr. Meacher: The Government are keen to encourage the use of renewable energy on their estate and a significant step forward was made with the agreement, in May 2001, of the following renewable energy target across Government:

In 2000–01 nine Departments purchased energy from renewable sources. We estimate that the Government estate purchased about 3 per cent. of its electricity from renewable sources that are exempt from the climate change levy. In addition, there were also small purchases of electricity from other "green" sources not exempt from the climate change levy.

Progress by individual Departments is partly dependent upon the expiry date for their current energy contracts. However, all central Government Departments in England report that they are in the process of considering how they will go about purchasing renewable energy or are considering self-generation options.

John McDonnell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) what funding has been made available for the development of renewable energy initiatives within urban areas; [35666]

Mr. Wilson: I have been asked to reply

The Government are taking vigorous action to promote renewable energy, including the introduction of the Renewables Obligation, the exemption of renewable energy from the climate change levy and over £260 million in direct support over the period 2001–04. This action will encourage new proposals for renewable energy generation in urban as well as rural areas.

Initiatives that may prove particularly relevant for urban areas include the £10 million fund to support renewable energy projects with a strong local community or household interest and the £20 million fund for the first stage of the new scheme to promote solar photovoltaics (PV). These were among the proposals announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister in November for the deployment of an additional £100 million for renewable energy. Scheme details are being prepared for publication later in the year. The DTI is already putting over £5 million funding into 30 PV housing projects totalling over 500 homes across the country in its Domestic PV Field Trial.

Earlier examples of wind energy development in industrial settings include a windfarm in the Mersey docklands and an onshore windfarm at Blyth harbour in Northumberland. As an example of a new, large-scale urban initiative, three national companies, Corus, Northern Electric Generation and AMEC Border Wind have submitted detailed proposals for a 47.5MW

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windfarm on an industrial brownfield site on the south bank of the River Tees, within the Redcar and Cleveland borough. The proposals have been developed by the companies in close liaison with Regional Development Agency One NorthEast and Redcar and Cleveland borough council. I trust that Government action to encourage the establishment of renewable energy targets for each region will stimulate more brownfield site proposals.

On a smaller scale, the supermarket chain Sainsbury's, for example, has installed a 600 KW wind turbine to power its distribution depot at East Kilbride, and is promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency at its other sites.

Private Sewers

Paddy Tipping: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what research she has commissioned into the scale of the problems caused by private sewers; when that research was commissioned; what body is undertaking it; and when the research will be published. [34690]

Mr. Meacher [holding answer 13 February 2002]: We have appointed outside consultants to undertake research into existing private sewers, the main objective of which is to establish their extent, identify and examine the problems associated with them, and to produce workable solutions. The research began in December and is due to last 18 months. Further details will be provided in an announcement that I will be making at the end of this month.


Mr. Laxton: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the extent to which lead in the atmosphere has been reduced following the introduction of unleaded petrol. [36255]

Mr. Meacher: Ambient lead concentrations are currently measured at 23 national monitoring network sites. Sales of unleaded petrol have increased since 1987, particularly as a result of the increased use of cars fitted with catalytic converters. The sale of leaded petrol was banned in 2000. Since the mid 1980s annual average levels of airborne lead in urban areas have reduced by about 95 per cent. from a broad range of 0.18 to 0.81 micrograms per cubic metre to maximum values less than 0.1 (0.008 to 0.032) micrograms per cubic metre in 2000 (latest published data). Annual average level at roadside sites have also declined by about 92 per cent. from the mid 1980s from a broad range of 0.18 to 0.81 micrograms per cubic metre to between 0.022 and 0.032 micrograms per cubic metre in 2000. Annual average rural levels, as expected, are smaller and ranged in 2000 from 0.003 to 0.009 micrograms per cubic metre.

Results from the Government's monitoring network are published at nonauto/pbdata.html

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Regional Events (Isle of Wight)

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which of the regional events to promote "Your Countryside—You're Welcome", will take place on the Isle of Wight. [36486]

Alun Michael: It is open to all organisations which have an interest in encouraging visitors to the countryside, including businesses, local authorities and voluntary organisations in any part of England, to be a part of the "Your Countryside—You're Welcome" campaign which is being led by some 50 national organisations. Over 120 organisations are already involved and some imaginative events have been arranged at a regional and local level in many parts of England. I recently wrote to all MPs asking them to engage with local aspects of this initiative, which arises from a recommendations of the Rural Task Force. I have also written to all local authorities. This is not a top-down initiative, nor is it just another publicity campaign. The theme "Your Countryside—You're Welcome" creates an opportunity to publicise local initiatives.

For instance, the Countryside Agency and the National Trust will hold a joint event at Dimbola Lodge, Tennyson Down on the Isle of Wight on 1 March to celebrate the purchase by the trust, with help from the agency, of land at Farringford Farm: the event will also be used to promote "Your Countryside—You're Welcome". Dimbola Lodge is the former home of Julia Margaret Cameron, the first prominent woman photographer, and the surrounding area was popular with nineteenth-century writers and artists. The land acquired will improve access to the coast and will be managed to enhance its landscape quality and biodiversity. I hope that further events may be arranged later in the year to promote the message that visitors are welcome to the Isle of Wight.

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