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Ms Walley: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the rules are for carbon trading for companies participating in climate change agreements; and what the timetable is for their application. 
Mr. Meacher: In August 2001, the Government published the "Framework for the UK Emissions Trading Scheme" which sets out how companies participating in climate change agreements will be able to trade carbon dioxide emission allowances. In April 2002, the Government issued guidance on how companies and sector associations in climate change agreements might wish to manage their interface with the UK emissions trading scheme. The Government intend to consult on legal rules to supplement these guidance documents in June 2002.
Since 2 April 2002, companies in climate change agreements have been able to buy allowances in the UK emissions trading scheme. Once the rules are finalised, they will be able to use these allowances to meet the target in their climate change agreement. However, the Government will not allocate any allowances to companies that have overachieved their target until companies' emissions have been independently verified at the end of the current 'target period'. Depending on the industrial sector, the current 'target period' will end between 30 September and 31 December 2002.
Mr. Webb: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much was spent by her Department on paying pensions to retired employees of her Department in 200102; if she will estimate the corresponding amounts to be spent in (a) five years' time, (b) 10 years' time, (c) 20 years' time and (d) 30 years' time; if she will estimate in each case the proportion of such liabilities which will arise from (i) unfunded pension schemes and (ii) pre-funded pension schemes; and in the case of pre-funded schemes, if she will estimate the value of the corresponding pre-funded funds in each of these years. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 May 2002]: Staff of this Department and its Executive Agencies are eligible for membership of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS)the occupational pension scheme for civil servants. The Cabinet Office is responsible for this scheme and pays the pensions of retired members centrally. They will answer in respect of civil servants who are PCSPS members. This will include DEFRA and its Agencies.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (1) which hon. Members have been appointed as sponsors to her Department since 7 June 2001; and when each of them were appointed; 
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Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with the Minister of Rural Affairs in the Scottish Executive regarding the Common Fisheries Policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Steen: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she estimates that the European Commission will publish its proposals on the future of the European Common Fisheries Policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 20 May 2002]: The Commission has said that it intends to make a presentation on its proposals to the Council of Fisheries Ministers on 11 June. This implies that the proposals should be published in advance of that. I and my right hon. friend the Secretary of State have made clear to the Commission that we consider progress in reviewing the Common Fisheries Policy to be a vital step in securing a sustainable future for fishing, and that we wish to see the proposals as soon as possible.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what recent discussions she has had with (a) the European Commission and (b) each other EU member state regarding the Common Fisheries Policy; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Morley [holding answer 16 May 2002]: Both I and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have recently had discussions with the Commissioner for Fisheries and with the fisheries ministers of various member states.
Mr. Rosindell: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the status of negotiations to extend the lifespan of the 12 mile limit derogation; which countries have indicated an aversion to so doing; and if delegations have made linkage between extension and UK agreement in different fields. 
Mr. Morley: This issue falls to be negotiated as part of the forthcoming review of the Common Fisheries Policy. The negotiations have yet to start: the Commission has not yet issued its proposals, but says that they are imminent. It is to be expected in a negotiation on a matter such as this that delegations will seek to link issues in pursuit of their objectives. But on the matter of 6 and 12 mile limits it is plain from views already declared that a clear majority of member states favours retention of the present arrangements.
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Mr. Meacher: Under the Jakarta Mandate of the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Government is working internationally to protect coral reefs, notably to tackle coral bleaching and activities that can result in their physical degradation and destruction. The UK was a founding member of the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI).
Our Darwin Initiative plays an important part in our contribution to implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity in developing countries, including marine biodiversity and coral reefs. The UK has committed substantial funding to support the development of improved understanding and better management of tropical coral reef ecosystems, recognising the importance of the resource to the livelihoods of many vulnerable coastal communities in developing countries.
Furthermore, the cold water corals off the north west coast of Scotland, the Darwin Mounds, are expected to be the first habitat to be afforded Special Area of Conservation status once regulations to extend the Habitats Directive out to the limit of jurisdiction of UK waters are in place.
Sue Doughty: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs if she will make a statement on the quantity and type of therapeutic and non-therapeutic drugs given to broiler chickens. 
Mr. Morley: There are 85 veterinary medicines currently authorised in the UK for use in chickens. 37 of these are for therapeutic use and the remaining 48 are for prophylactic use. A list of these has been placed in the Library of the House.
We do not collect details of the quantities of these drugs that are used in the UK. However details of the quantities of antimicrobial products sold for use in chickens can be found in the report "Sales of Antimicrobial Products used as Veterinary Medicines, Growth Promoters and Coccidiostats in the UK in 2000." This report is available from the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), Woodham Lane, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3LS. It is also available on the VMD's website (www.vmd.gov.uk). Copies have also been placed in the Library of the House.
Mr. Weir: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the average (a) time and (b) cost has been for registering a regional food in the last 12 months; and what assistance including advertising, her Department provides to organisations wishing to register a regional food. 
Mr. Morley: Regional foods can be registered as EU protected food names under a system set up under Council Regulation (EEC) No. 208192. The application process for registering such products involves a number of steps including checks by both this Department, the agriculture Departments of the devolved Administrations and the Commission to ensure that the applications meet the
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necessary criteria for registration. Participation in the scheme is voluntary. No fee is charged on producers wishing to register a product.
In the last 12 months no UK regional food has been registered as a protected food name although a number have been lodged with the European Commission who are currently considering whether they meet the criteria for registration. Officials from this Department work closely with colleagues from the agriculture Departments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as well as the applicant themselves in handling applications. The work involves advising applicants, both in writing and face- to-face, on the application process, the consideration of application and liaising with the European Commission. It is estimated that the staff costs to the Department for this work in the last 12 months is £15,106.10.
Mr. Morley: The Department provides written advice to organisations wishing to register a regional food. This advice covers the eligibility criteria, the information needed to support an application and details of the application process. In addition, officials from this Department, or if appropriate, officials from one of the agriculture Departments in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland will visit potential applicants to advise them about completion of the required application form.
|Member state||No. of registered protected food names|
European Commission (April 2002)
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