Friday, May 20, 2011

Key recent UK Parliamentary Answers relating to biofuels



[highlighting on first answer]


1. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2011-05-17a.176.0&s=biofuel#g181.2

House of Commons debates, 17 May 2011, 4:41 pm

Photo of John Redwood
John Redwood (Wokingham, Conservative)How exactly does the Secretary of State propose to ensure that the glass and ceramics, and steel and chemicals industries, which are high energy users, are not damaged by the taxes and regulations that he is proposing today?
Photo of Christopher Huhne

Christopher Huhne (Secretary of State, Energy and Climate Change; Eastleigh, Liberal Democrat)

I am grateful to the right hon. Gentleman for his question. The energy-intensive work group that we have set up between my Department and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills will come forward with a set of measures by the end of the year. That is a clear commitment. As he knows, there are a number of ways to help energy-intensive industries, including the free allocation of units under the EU emissions trading scheme and encouraging a move towards the use of biomass and biofuels, for example. We are looking at all those measures to ensure that we can balance the concerns of the energy-intensive industries as well as make substantial progress towards the low-carbon economy.


2. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-05-17a.55405.h&s=biofuel+section%3Awrans

Written answers and statements, 17 May 2011

Photo of Jim Cunningham
Jim Cunningham (Coventry South, Labour)To ask the Secretary of State for Transport with which representatives of (a) European and (b) UK organisations he has discussed the use of biofuels in aviation since May 2010; and if he will make a statement.
Photo of Theresa Villiers

Theresa Villiers (Minister of State (Rail and Aviation), Transport; Chipping Barnet, Conservative)

The Department for Transport Ministers meet regularly with representatives from UK and European organisations where they discuss a range of transport issues including the use of biofuels in aviation.
The Government have announced their intention to develop a sustainable policy framework for UK aviation. On 30 March 2011, the Department for Transport published a scoping document that frames the debate on the future direction of aviation policy and asks a series of questions, including on use of biofuels in aviation. The responses to the scoping document will help to inform the development of a draft framework, which we intend to publish for full public consultation in March 2012.


3. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-05-17a.53226.h&s=biofuel+section%3Awrans

Written answers and statements, 17 May 2011

Photo of Joan Ruddock

Joan Ruddock (Lewisham, Deptford, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what consideration his Department has given to the findings of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics report, Biofuels: ethical issues; and whether he plans to take any steps as a consequence of its findings.
Photo of Norman Baker

Norman Baker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Regional and Local Transport), Transport; Lewes, Liberal Democrat)

The Nuffield Council on Bioethics report presents some finely balanced arguments around the ethical issues of biofuels.
The Government are clear that biofuels used must lead to a worthwhile reduction in carbon emissions and be sustainable. We are working with colleagues across Government to ensure a coherent approach to the deployment of sustainable biofuels.
As part of the EU renewable energy directive, the European Commission must monitor and report every two years on the impact of biofuel policy on social sustainability.
The reports must address issues of land use rights, and state whether the raw material for biofuel use in the EU has complied with Conventions of the International Labour Organisation. If necessary the Commission must propose corrective action.


4. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-05-17a.52963.h&s=biofuel+section%3Awrans#g52963.r0

Written answers and statements, 17 May 2011

Photo of Jim Fitzpatrick

Jim Fitzpatrick (Poplar and Limehouse, Labour)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether his Department expects to fully implement the Renewable Energy Directive before the outcome of the EU examination of indirect land use change; and if he will make a statement.
Photo of Norman Baker

Norman Baker (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Regional and Local Transport), Transport; Lewes, Liberal Democrat)

We are currently consulting on proposals to implement the transport elements of the Renewable Energy Directive. The consultation period will run until 2 June 2011. Consultation documents can be found on the Department for Transport (DfT) website.
DfT takes the issue of indirect land use change (ILUC) seriously. We have recently published research on the scale of ILUC and are continuing to lead work on how to reduce ILUC impacts.
Given the legitimate concerns and uncertainties around the sustainability of some biofuels, the consultation does not propose changes to the current overall biofuel supply trajectory that is set out in the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation Order 2007. However, there will be a legal obligation on the Secretary of State for Transport to keep this issue under review and to consider what additional measures will be required to ensure that the UK delivers the requirements of the EU RED and FQD period 2014 to 2020.
We will review the European Commission report on options for addressing ILUC before setting post-2014 targets.


5. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-05-10c.53967.h&s=biofuel+section%3Awrans


Photo of Charlotte Leslie

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he made of the implications for human rights of the Clean Development Mechanism projects (a) aguan biogas recovery from palm oil mill effluent ponds and biogas utilisation and (b) lean biogas recovery from palm oil mill effluent ponds and biogas/biomass utilisation prior to authorising the purchase of credits from each project.
Photo of Gregory Barker

Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State is aware of the allegations in respect of these projects and has written to the CDM Executive Board to request a robust investigation. Of the two projects mentioned in recent representations by Biofuelswatch, the UK Government have issued only a Letter of Authorisation (LoA) in respect of the participation of EDF Trading Ltd in the Aguan Biogas Recovery project (CDM reference number 3197). The Lean Biogas Recovery project was not authorised by the UK.
When assessing the Aguan project the standard procedures for dealing with applications seeking UK authorisation of companies participation in CDM projects were followed. These require the applicant to submit documentation including a letter of approval from the Honduran Government stating that the project contributes to sustainable development alongside a declaration that all documentation is correct. On the basis of these assurances, a letter of authorisation was issued to EDF Trading Ltd based on these assurances on 3 June 2009, prior to the events recounted in the allegations. We understand that EDF energy has since withdrawn from participation in the project.
The final assessment of whether any CDM project is compliant with CDM rules lies with the CDM Executive Board, which is currently reviewing the status of the Aguan project.


6. http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2011-05-10c.53968.h&s=biofuel+section%3Awrans

Written answers and statements, 10 May 2011

Photo of Charlotte Leslie

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what representations he has received on the (a) augan biogas recovery from palm oil mill effluent ponds and biogas utilisation and (b) lean biogas recovery from palm oil mill effluent ponds and biogas/biomass utilisation project under the Clean Development Mechanism; and if he will make a statement.
Photo of Gregory Barker

Gregory Barker (Minister of State (Climate Change), Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill and Battle, Conservative)

The allegations of human rights abuses in connection with these two projects were first brought to the attention of the Secretary of State on 4 February 2011, when a letter of protest was received from a coalition of NGOs led by Biofuelwatch. This was followed in early April by a mass e-mail campaign.
The allegations are plainly deplorable. Consequently the Secretary of State wrote to number of relevant organisations and responsible bodies, expressing his concern and requesting further information. These organisations included the Honduran authorities, the CDM Executive Board and the UK authorised project participant, EDF Trading Ltd. The Secretary of State also asked the Executive Board to assess whether the project meets CDM rules and to deal with the human rights allegations in so far as they are able.
EDF Trading Ltd has recently announced that it is terminating its involvement in the two projects. Of the two projects EDF had received only a UK Letter of Authorisation (LoA) for one: the Aguan Biogas Recovery Project. Since the UK LoA was valid for use only by EDF, the termination of their involvement in the project effectively renders the letter defunct.

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Biofuels are a wide range of fuels which are in some way derived from biomass.

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