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What information-sharing strategy is in place to ensure that the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, local authorities, port health authorities and H M Customs and Excise are kept up to date on illegal meat investigations. [HL3413]
Lord Whitty: Steps have been taken in order to ensure that all agencies involved with enforcement measures to tackle illegal imports work closely together to ensure that the requirements are understood and intelligence is shared. There is a statutory gateway within the legislation to allow for the exchange of relevant information between enforcement authorities.
As an example, Customs have set up an intelligence exchange with the Food Standards Agency to pass relevant information to the appropriate local authority, and the FSA will shortly issue information to local authorities and port health authorities on this liaison between the relevant departments on matters concerning illegally imported products of animal origin.
The responsibility for inland investigations of illegal meat domestically produced and imported falls to local authorities. The FSA will provide support to local authorities if requested by offering assistance from members of the Illegal Meat Task Force, or from FSA investigators.
What feedback has been received from local authority enforcement officers on the practical results of wider powers of entry, search and inspection, provided in the 2002 regulations, in seizing and prosecuting illegal meat imports. [HL3414]
Lord Whitty: Formal feedback has not been sought by government from local authority enforcement officers on the practical results of powers relating to illegal meat imports which was contained in the Products of Animal Origin (Third Country Imports) (England) Regulations 2002.
What effect they estimate the increase in (a) world oil consumption; (b) world natural gas consumption (outside the United States of America); and (c) world coal consumption has had on climate change within and around the United Kingdom. [HL3410]
Lord Whitty: The International Energy Agency (IEA) published data showing that world consumption of oil, natural gas and coal for energy use increased substantially between 1973 and 2001, by 29, 117 and 56 per cent respectively. Over the same period, world carbon dioxide emissions increased by 51 per cent. It is not possible to identify the effects of emissions from different regions as carbon dioxide is well mixed in the atmosphere.
Since 1958 carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere increased from 318 parts per million to 379 parts per million. Over the past century global average temperatures increased by about 0.6 Celsius and since the 1970s the temperatures have risen by 0.4 degrees Celsius.
The third assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) noted in 2001 that: "most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations." Furthermore recent work by the Met Office's Hadley Centre has shown that the temperature increase over Europe, observed in the past few decades, is also attributable to increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases.
The UK climate has also changed over the past century, with central England temperature rising by almost 1 degree Celsius, consistent with global trends. The 1990s was the warmest decade in central England since records began in the 1660s. Average sea level is rising by about 1 millimetre per year and winters across the UK have been getting wetter. There is evidence that the warming which has been observed
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has affected natural cycles such as leaf emergence dates and egg laying dates of birds but effects on human activities is much less clear. Such changes are compiled for Defra in a report of climate change indicators which can be found at the following website: http://www.nbu.ac.uk/iccuk/.
Lord Whitty: Most depleted uranium derives from spent fuel used in nuclear power stations. Most of this depleted uranium is held as a national resource for potential re-enrichment and re-use in fuel and is safely stored at nuclear licensed sites regulated by the Health and Safety Executive. Depleted uranium which has been declared as waste is included in the inventory and is among the material on which the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) has been asked to make recommendations about long-term management. Waste depleted uranium is covered by the provisions of the Radioactive Substances Act 1993 and the storage or disposal of such material is regulated by the Environment Agency in England and Wales.
Lord Davies of Oldham: Figures for transport investment in the UK, including public and private spending, are set out in Table 1.16 Transport Statistics Great Britain 2003 (DfT October 2003). The totals for the years 199495 to 200102 are reproduced in the table below, along with figures for total gross domestic product.
|£ Million (Outturn prices)|
|% of GDP||5.5%||5.4%||5.5%||5.8%||5.6%||5.3%||5.0%||5.3%|
We do not hold directly comparable information on transport for other countries.
Further to the Written Answer by the Lord Davies of Oldham on 17 May (WA 68), when, following consultation, they will change the implementation period of a quality contract; whether this change will be implemented by order or primary legislation; and whether further guidance will be issued. [HL3516]
Lord Davies of Oldham: The Government are considering the responses they received to their consultation on the proposal to reduce the
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implementation period for bus quality contracts, and will be announcing the outcome shortly.
The Department for Transport issued draft guidance on quality contracts to all stakeholder representative organisations on 29 June. The draft guidance covers the procedure to be followed in applying for a quality contracts scheme, the supporting evidence required and the matters that would be taken into account in deciding whether to approve an application, including appraisal of the public interest. Recipients have until 1 October to comment on the draft guidance.
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