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The Minister of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Macdonald of Tradeston): The Government have no plans at present to make further representations to the Eurostar Group on this issue. Representations made last year by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions led to an agreement by Eurostar to consider carrying recognised assistance dogs such as guide dogs for the blind. They are still considering their position but are in no doubt as to the Government's desire to see assistance dogs allowed on Eurostar trains. The decision whether or not to carry animals is one for the Eurostar Group (Eurostar UK Ltd, SNCF and SNCB) to make collectively. Eurotunnel allows pets to travel with their owners in private cars on its passenger shuttle services through the Channel Tunnel.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (Lord Whitty): The UK's climate change programme that was published in November 2000 sets out full details of the measures the Government are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including methane emissions. Many of these measures are aimed at preventing emissions; others are designed to collect and use it as an energy source.
Methane emissions from landfills have been reduced by almost 40 per cent since 1990. Measures like the Landfill Directive and the landfill tax are aimed at cutting the amount of biodegradable waste sent to landfill. There has also been increased collection of landfill gas and its use as an energy source. Since 1990, over 140 landfill gas projects have been contracted under the Non-Fossil Fuel Obligation to supply electricity to the National Grid. The Government are continuing their support for the use of landfill gas, and also sewage gas, as energy sources through the Renewables Obligation and exemptions from the climate change levy. Methane emissions from landfill sites are projected to continue to decline to about 70 per cent below 1990 levels in 2010.
Lord Whitty: Officials are currently drafting the regulations. Although we have a good overview of the provisions to be included, considerable work is needed on the detail. Provided no unforeseen problems arise, we expect to publish draft regulations for public consultation in March, and lay these before Parliament for approval in May.
The Minister of State, Cabinet Office (Lord Falconer of Thoroton): Ministers should be open with Parliament and the public, refusing to provide information only when disclosure would not be in the public interest, which should be decided in accordance with relevant statute and the Government's Code of Practice on Access to Government Information.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: I refer the noble Lord to the Answer I gave on 30 November (Hansard, col. WA 161). Such nominations are not treated any differently than nominations received from other sources. All public appointments in Northern Ireland are made on the basis of merit.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: It is for the Commission to decide with whom it consults. The Chief Commissioner of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has been asked to write to the noble Lord. A copy of this letter will be placed in the Library.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The issue of clawback and related matters is the subject of active negotiation between Legacy plc and the Competition Team. I can assure the noble Baroness that the Government are taking a strong line in seeking to protect public interests through the entire sale process, and will ensure that appropriate safeguards are built into any contract. Details of negotiations with Legacy plc are commercially confidential.
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: The New Millennium Experience Company has advised that the total costs of the Millennium Show were £72.6 million. Expenditure on design, construction, fit-out and pre-opening training costs for the performers and
Lord Falconer of Thoroton: As far as I am aware, since June 1997, the only instances have been two inward secondees from British American Tobacco to the Department of Trade and Industry. Both secondees worked as export promoters, promoting UK trade to other countries, and have no involvement in UK policy making.
Individuals on interchanges from other sectors are subject to the Official Secrets Act and are required to observe Civil Service and departmental or agency rules on conduct, including the duty of confidentiality, and security. Individuals attached to departments under the interchange initiative are required to ensure that in the course of their duty there is no conflict of interest that will cause embarrassment to their organisation, or to the department or agency. Indeed, great care is taken when arranging these opportunities to ensure that no conflicts of interest arise.
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