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Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what EU directives have an impact on (a) energy efficiency, (b) waste minimisation, (c) marine pollution, (d) air quality, (e) climate change, (f) renewable energy, (g) fly-tipping, (h) packaging, (i) end of life vehicles, (j) the disposal of hazardous waste, (k) incineration, (l) recycling, (m) water quality, (n) coastal erosion, (o) fuel poverty, (p) flood defence, (q) wind power use, (r) domestic waste management, (s) industrial waste management, (t) landfill, (u) greenhouse gas emissions and (v) timber procurement. 
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Mr. Morley: A great many EC Directives apply in the field of the environment and will consequently have an impact on the areas (a) to (v) listed. Some of these will be specific to those areas while others will be of horizontal application and will impact on many of those areas, such as the Directives on environmental impact, assessment or conservation of natural habitats. All may be found by running appropriate textual searches on the EC's legislation website (www.europa.eu.int/eur-lex/en/search/index.html).
Mr. Wiggin: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether the Government are negotiating on draft EU directives with regard to (a) energy efficiency, (b) waste minimisation, (c) marine pollution, (d) air quality, (e) climate change, (f) renewable energy, (g) fly-tipping, (h) packaging, (i) end of life vehicles, (j) the disposal of hazardous waste, (k) incineration, (l) recycling, (m) water quality, (n) coastal erosion, (o) fuel poverty, (p) flood defence, (q) wind power use, (r) domestic waste management, (s) industrial waste management, (t) landfill, (u) greenhouse gas emissions and (v) timber procurement. 
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Mr. Morley: The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is due to start on 1 January 2005 and is one of the policies being introduced across Europe to tackle emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in order to combat the serious threat of climate change.
The Directive requires members states to implement the Scheme by 31 December 2003. We have consulted publicly on the UK's draft Implementing Regulations and will be continuing work on these in the coming months.
All member states are also required by the Directive to let the Commission have their National Allocation Plan by 31 March 2004. In order to meet this deadline we are intending to publish the first draft of our plan for consultation in early December 2003. The Plan will set out the overall cap on emissions for installations within the traded sector and the way that we propose to allocate this cap between industry sectors.
The UK are likely to be among the first to publish a draft National Allocation Plan. Defra are working hard with others and are confident that we will meet the deadlines involved. I believe that this provides a clear signal that the Government are committed to achieving its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2010.
Simon Hughes: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how many fuel poverty households there are in each London authority area; and what her estimate is of the number of children living in fuel poverty households. 
The available information from the English House Condition Survey indicates that in 2001, there were 148,000 fuel poor households in London. This is based on fuel poverty defined as occurring when a household needs to spend more than 10 per cent. of its income (including housing benefit and income support for mortgage interest) on all fuels in order to maintain a satisfactory heating regime.
Mr. Chaytor: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what plans she has for implementing the inspection of gas boilers below 100kW to limit their (a) carbon dioxide emissions and (b) energy consumption. 
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(a) the regular inspection of boilers of an effective rated output of 20 kW to 100 kW. This requirement applies to boilers fired by non-renewable liquid or solid fuels, but leaves it to member states to decide whether to apply the requirement to boilers using other fuels, such as gas. A one-off inspection of heating installations older than 15 years with a rated output of over 20 kW is also required; or
(b) the provision of advice to users on the replacement of boilers. We are currently considering which of the above options to adopt, and if we choose to proceed with option (a) whether to include boilers fired by the other fuels such as gas in the regular inspection arrangements. We will be seeking views from the heating industry and other interested parties on this.
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs pursuant to her answer of 23 October 2003, if she will list the scientific studies published on (a) horizontal gene transfer, (b) the effect of growth promoters on gene suppression and gene hot spotting and (c) allergenicity; and where these studies have been peer reviewed. 
Mr. Morley: The GM Science Review (at http://www.gmsciencedebate.org.uk/report/default.htm) published in July 2003 reports the current state of knowledge on horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity and the potential for generating recombination hot spots, and lists relevant publications and scientific studies. The Science Review does not cover in depth the effect of growth promoters on gene suppression as this issue is not relevant to the GM crops currently under consideration for approval. We do not maintain a list of such publications.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) time limits there are and (b) timetable is in place for her Department's decision-taking relating to the (i) process of licensing GM crops and (ii) releases of genetically modified seeds into the environment. 
Mr. Morley: Case-by-case decisions on applications to release GM crops for commercial cultivation are governed by EC Directive 2001/18. This sets out clear timescales for each stage of the decision-making process. Before a GM crop can be granted consent for commercial importation or cultivation, its release is subjected to an assessment by all EU member states to ensure that it poses no significant risk to human health or the environment. If the UK is the lead competent authority, then it has 90 days to assess the application for compliance with the requirements of the Directive. If the UK is not the lead competent authority, then it has 60 days to forward any comments on applications where another member state has forwarded a favourable opinion to the Commission. As decisions are subject to collective EU agreement, it is not possible to say when a decision on a specific application might be taken, but we do not expect any final decisions before early 2004.
For releases into the environment (i.e. for purposes other than placing on the market), the Directive requires the relevant competent authority to assess applications and respond to the applicant within 90 days. The 90-day
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clock, however, is stopped for any periods of time during which the competent authority is awaiting further information. There are currently no field trials of genetically modified crops taking place in the UK nor any application being assessed by the Department.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what (a) discussions she has had with and (b) advice she has received from the insurance industry in respect of liability for GM contamination of non-GM farmland. 
Mr. Morley: We have not had any discussions with, or received advice from, the insurance industry on this subject. We will consider it when we have received the report due from the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission on co-existence and liability.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs whether she has set a timetable for public consultation on the reports from (a) the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment, (b) the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission and (c) other commissioned bodies which have either reported or are yet to report on work intended to inform her Department about the use of GM crops. 
Mr. Morley: With regard to (a), ACRE'S advice on the results of the Farm Scale Evaluations will inform our assessment of the relevant crops as each application for consent is considered. To assist its deliberations, ACRE will be holding two open meetings to take evidence from other experts and stakeholders. The first of these will be in London on 25 November 2003 and the second in Edinburgh on 4 December 2003. Details are on the Defra website. There is separate provision in Directive 2001/18/EC for the public to be consulted on applications for the marketing of GM crops.
With regard to (c), we do not envisage any further public consultation exercises at this stage to inform our policy on GM crops. We will decide our policy in the light of all the available information, including the report of the GM public debate.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the (a) earliest and (b) latest possible date is for the publication of the Government response to the report on the public consultation on GM science, GM Nation. 
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what decisions relevant to future assessments as to the appropriateness of licensing GM crops she plans to make before her Department has responded to the GM Nation report. 
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Mr. Morley: As decisions are subject to collective EU agreement under Directive 2001/18, it is not possible to say when decisions might be taken. There are currently 21 Part C marketing applications being processed across the EU, 12 of which include cultivation. The UK is not the lead member state for any of the applications for cultivation and nor are we presently considering any such applications on which other member states lead. 10 of the 12 applications are still at the initial stage of being assessed by the lead member state. Positive assessments were forwarded on the other two applications earlier this year and the UK submitted reasoned objections. The UK will be required to respond to any favourable assessments provided by other member states as they are received. We do not expect any final EU decisions on any application before early 2004.
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