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Baroness Hayman: We are presently considering a number of means for improving the protection and management of Sites of Special Scientific Interest. There is likely to be consultation later this year. We are also examining what further measures are needed to strengthen wildlife protection. If legislation proves necessary we will look for a suitable opportunity.
Baroness Hayman: Of the reviews currently being undertaken by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, the result of only one is expected to be announced during the summer recess. This is the review of the Environmental Action Fund.
Baroness Hayman: The Government retain their aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to 20 per cent. below 1990 levels by 2010. Our first priority must be to make sure that we achieve the legally binding target of a 12.5 per cent. reduction in greenhouse gas emissions which we agreed to in the EU following the United Nations' Kyoto climate change conference.
This summer we will be consulting on policy options for meeting our legally binding target and moving beyond that towards our domestic aim. Later this year the Government intend to publish new energy projections on which our new climate change programme will be based.
Baroness Hayman: According to the Public Carriage Office's records, of the 19,082 licensed taxis in London, 2,525 are not equipped with seat belts. Of these taxis without seat belts, 473 were manufactured before 1 April 1982, and are not legally required to have rear seat belt anchorages; the remainder were built between 1 April 1982 and 31 March 1987 and are not legally required to have rear seatbelts. This legal position is the same for taxis as for cars.
There is no requirement that all licensed taxis in London shall have seatbelts by 1 January 2000; there is, however, a requirement that all London taxis shall be wheelchair accessible by that date. That means that London taxis which are not accessible will not have their licences renewed after the end of this year, since taxi licences last for a year. The effect of the accessibility requirement will be further to reduce the number of taxis without passenger seat belts.
Whether they consider that the inclusion in the Competition Bill of an index of defined expressions would or would not be user-friendly.[HL2734]
Lord Clinton-Davis: The Government recognise, as the examples quoted show, that an index of defined expressions is useful in some Acts. However whether this is so is a matter for judgment in respect of each Act. In respect of the Competition Bill advice was sought from Parliamentary Counsel. His view was that the nature and structure of the Competition Bill made an index unnecessary and unhelpful for users. The Government accepted this advice.
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