Written Question
Plastics
25 Sep 2020, 5:08 p.m.

Questioner: Selaine Saxby

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to reduce the (a) production and (b) sale of single use plastics.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

It is the Government’s ambition to have zero avoidable waste going to landfill by 2050. The Resources and Waste Strategy sets out how we will eliminate avoidable plastic waste and move towards a more circular economy.

We have already made significant progress, by introducing one of the world’s toughest bans on microbeads in rinse-off personal care products and significantly reducing the use of single-use carrier bags in the main supermarkets by 95% with our 5p charge. We have announced our plans to increase the minimum charge to 10p and to extend the charge to all retailers from April 2021. We will also introduce a ban on the supply of single-use plastic straws, plastic drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds from October 2020. The Government also remains committed to introducing the Plastic Packaging Tax in April 2022, which will apply to plastic packaging manufactured in or imported into the UK containing less than 30% recycled plastic.

Our landmark Environment Bill will enable us to go even further. The Bill will include powers to create extended producer responsibility schemes; introduce deposit return schemes; establish greater consistency in the recycling system; better control the export of plastic waste; and allow us to set new charges for other single-use plastic items. Further information can be found at: www.gov.uk/government/news/stronger-protections-for-the-environment-move-closer-as-landmark-bill-takes-shape.


Written Question
Furs: Sales
25 Sep 2020, 2:50 p.m.

Questioner: Christian Wakeford

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what the planned timescale is for bringing forward legislative proposals on banning the sale of fur in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]


Written Question
Furs: Import Controls
25 Sep 2020, 2:50 p.m.

Questioner: Abena Oppong-Asare

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans the Government has to further restrict the fur trade after the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

I refer the hon Member to the answer given to the hon. Member for Totnes on 30 June 2020, PQ UIN 62631.

[www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2020-06-22/62631]


Written Question
Horse Meat: Exports
25 Sep 2020, 2:48 p.m.

Questioner: Chris Evans

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what quantity of horse meat was exported from the UK in 2019.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) issues Export Health Certificates (EHCs) for animals and products of animal origin exported to non-EU countries. In 2019, APHA did not issue any EHCs for the export of horse meat to non-EU countries.

APHA is not able to provide any data regarding the quantity of horse meat exported from the UK to the EU in 2019. Data for such trade is currently drawn from EU systems based on movements of animals to the EU that require an Intra-Trade Animal Health Certificate (ITAHC). An ITAHC was not required for movements of meat between the UK and the rest of the EU in 2019.


Written Question
Transport: EU Countries
25 Sep 2020, 2:45 p.m.

Questioner: Hilary Benn

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what assessment he has made as to whether there are sufficient supplies of heat-treated pallets to meet EU regulations covering the transport of products from 1 Jan 2021.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

After the end of the Transition Period, all wood packaging material (WPM) moving between Great Britain (GB) and the EU must be treated and appropriately marked in compliance with international standards (ISPM 15). This is in line with international requirements for trade and is in place to protect both the EU and GB from harmful plant pests and diseases.

Defra has established a strong relationship with the WPM industry. The UK Timber Pallet and Packaging Confederation (TIMCON), the Freight Transport Association , National Association of Pallet Distributors, the European Federation of Wooden Pallet and Packaging Manufacturers (FEFPEB) and the Closed Pallet Pooling Coalition have been working hard with Defra and industry to ensure there are sufficient compliant pallets available for 1 January 2021. This will ensure our biosecurity is maintained and trade continues to flow with as little disruption as possible.

The WPM industry have been working tirelessly to both increase the stock of compliant WPM and to grow our WPM treatment capacity by increasing the number of heat treatment facilities (kilns) and their hours of operation and by simplifying and improving ISPM15 processes to reduce the time needed to treat their WPM. In a recent survey of the industry, 70% of respondents indicated they were confident that they would be fully ready by the end of the Transition Period. TIMCON is also strongly encouraging FEFPEB and EU national associations to engage and support their countries’ WPM industries to increase their own stocks of compliant pallets.

Defra, the Forestry Commission and other relevant plant health authorities are continuing to work closely with the WPM sector to address what further actions they need to take to manage this new requirement by the end of the Transition Period.

As there will be no immediate change to the biosecurity threat of WPM originating from the EU at the end of the Transition Period, GB will maintain its current risk-based checking regime for EU WPM.


Written Question
River Thames: Swimming
25 Sep 2020, 2:03 p.m.

Questioner: Layla Moran

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will make an assessment of the potential merits of giving Designated Bathing Water Status to a stretch of the River Thames in Oxford.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

Bathing waters are designated through an application process and Defra welcomes applications for designation for both coastal and inland waters such as rivers. Local authorities, groups and individuals can apply for sites to be designated. Defra encourages this by writing to the Chief Executive of every local authority in England, as well as by sending similar letters to other stakeholders like swimming associations. It is these local authorities and stakeholders who will best know which popular riverside bathing areas may be suitable for designation.

All applications are considered in line with our usual process, the details of which are available on gov.uk. There is currently a consultation seeking the public’s views on a proposal submitted by a local group to designate an area of the River Wharfe, between Ilkley Main Bridge and Beanlands Island, as a designated bathing water. The consultation ends 2 October.


Written Question
Countryside: Access
25 Sep 2020, 2:01 p.m.

Questioner: Jim Shannon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the public (a) right of way and (b) right to roam on farmers and landowners.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The effect of the public accessing the countryside over recent months has been monitored continuously through engagement with a range of stakeholder groups. Stakeholder feedback has informed government guidance and key messages on accessing the countryside in a safe and respectable manner.

We have published guidance to promote safe access to green spaces: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-on-accessing-green-spaces-safely


Written Question
Hydrogen: Air Pollution
25 Sep 2020, 1:58 p.m.

Questioner: Ian Paisley

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what recent assessment he has made of the effect on air quality of the use of hydrogen energy technology.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to the hon. Member for Twickenham on 10 September, PQ UIN 905828.

[https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/2020-09-10/905828]


Written Question
Wlldlife: Coronavirus
25 Sep 2020, 1:54 p.m.

Questioner: Colleen Fletcher

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps his Department is taking to protect wildlife from death or injury caused by discarded face masks.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

The Government has published guidance on the proper disposal of face coverings and other PPE during the coronavirus pandemic. This is available at:

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-disposing-of-waste.

Littering of PPE is a criminal offence, and councils have legal powers to take enforcement action against offenders. Anyone caught littering may be prosecuted in a magistrates’ court, which can lead to a criminal record and a fine of up to £2,500 on conviction. Instead of prosecuting, councils may decide to issue a fixed penalty (on-the-spot fine) of between £65 and £150. If a council has not set a local fixed penalty level, it must charge the default penalty, which is £100.

Defra is raising awareness via social media of what individuals can do to protect others and the environment, including in relation to litter. We have recently published a video highlighting the issue of improperly discarded face coverings at: twitter.com/DefraGovUK/status/1309045391724351489.

Defra has launched a 'Respect the Outdoors' campaign this summer. This has been promoted both online and in locations near to urban parks, beaches and national parks to highlight the impacts of littering, as well as unauthorised barbeques and campfires, and breaches of the countryside code.

Defra has also supported, and provided funding for, Keep Britain Tidy's Love Parks campaign, which encourages people to treat our parks with respect this summer. Further information about the campaign is available at:

www.keepbritaintidy.org/news/new-campaign-launched-face-littering-epidemic-parks.


Written Question
Committee On Climate Change: Correspondence
25 Sep 2020, 12:49 p.m.

Questioner: Caroline Lucas

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will publish any correspondence he has had with the Committee on Climate Change in 2020 on the burning of peatland in the UK.

Answer (Rebecca Pow)

I am pleased to provide the hon. Member with a copy of my correspondence with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) that I have forwarded to the hon. Member’s office.

The correspondence states the following:

The Government welcomes CCC support. We have always been clear of the need to phase out burning of protected blanket bog to conserve these vulnerable habitats. We are currently looking at how legislation could achieve this and considering next steps.


Written Question
Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease
25 Sep 2020, 12:24 p.m.

Questioner: Jim Shannon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to tackle Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease is not a notifiable disease in the UK. There are no risks to public health. The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and occasionally the European brown hare (Lepus europaeus) are the species affected in the UK.

Defra’s Animal and Plant Health Agency has a small scale surveillance programme in place to monitor the disease in wild rabbits.

For domestic rabbits there is a vaccine available which is an effective means of protection, provided it is administered before the virus causes infection. We recommend that any concerned pet owners seek advice from a vet.


Written Question
Horses: Republic of Ireland
25 Sep 2020, 12:19 p.m.

Questioner: Chris Evans

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many soliped and equidae were imported from Ireland for slaughter in Great Britain in (a) 2019 and (b) in each month of 2020.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

TRACES (Trade Control and Expert System) is a European Commission system used by EU member states to facilitate and record animal/animal product movements into and throughout the EU. The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), as the competent authority, is able to extract information from TRACES for imports of live animals into the UK.

Based on the information available, there were no solipeds or equidae certified for slaughter which had been imported from Ireland in 2019 or 2020.


Written Question
Fishing Vessels: Territorial Waters
25 Sep 2020, 12:14 p.m.

Questioner: Chris Evans

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he plans to ban supertrawlers from fishing in UK waters.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, during the transition period, we have agreed that we will continue to apply current fisheries rules and shared access to waters will continue until the end of 2020. When the transition period ends, we will be able to restrict the fishing activities of all vessels, including supertrawlers, throughout our waters.

The UK will be able to decide what vessels can access our waters to fish and the new licensing framework within the Fisheries Bill will allow us to apply conditions to the activities of all vessels fishing in UK waters. Any vessels granted access to fish in our waters, regardless of nationality, will need to abide by UK rules including those on sustainability.


Written Question
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices
25 Sep 2020, 12:12 p.m.

Questioner: Robert Halfon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department is making on meeting the 2.3 per cent public sector apprenticeship target; and when his Department will meet that target.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As of 31 March 2020, the Civil Service has achieved a total of 2.1% of its total workforce as apprentices against the legislative target for the public sector of 2.3% by March 2021. Defra had achieved 1% of the total staff employed within the department.

In Defra group, we have taken the following steps towards the public sector apprenticeship target.

We have reactivated our ‘Early Talent’ Strategy for 2020/21 to focus on:

  • increasing the use of apprenticeships within external recruitment;
  • promoting the use of apprenticeships to support development of existing staff;
  • increasing and maximising the use of the levy; and
  • using targeted apprenticeship recruitment to improve the diversity of our workforce.

We have identified a number of levers that can be used to achieve the above and these are actively being discussed within the business. We continue to enhance the information and tools available to line managers to improve understanding.

While there are a number of standards that we can actively use, given the unique nature and breadth of our activities in Defra group, we continue to explore and invest in trailblazer activity.

Defra group has been focused on delivery against EU exit requirements and more recently COVID-19. Defra remains committed to the Civil Service Apprenticeship Strategy and is looking to increase our use of apprenticeships across Defra group over the next 12 months.

Given this target is a percentage of the total workforce, the percentage changes in line with workforce fluctuations over time, therefore making it challenging to predict when a department will meet the target. The data for 2018/19 can be found on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-apprenticeship-data-2018-to-2019. The data for 2019/20 will be released on GOV.UK by the end of September 2020.

Departments are committed to increasing the number of apprentices across the Civil Service and continue to work towards the 2.3% target. The impact of the current pandemic has slowed recruitment due to priority work and logistics. With the current strategy and targets coming to an end in April 2021, the Civil Service is already focusing on how to continue to support the apprenticeship agenda and drive forward apprenticeship recruitment, pulling on the Plan for Jobs initiative and considering the current economic situation.


Written Question
Food Supply
25 Sep 2020, 12:08 p.m.

Questioner: Martyn Day

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will provide financial support to wholesalers to ensure the security of the food supply after the transition period.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Our thorough preparations for leaving the EU alongside the lessons we have learned during the Covid-19 response provide a robust foundation for end of transition period planning on food supply. We are currently working alongside industry and across Government including with the Devolved Administrations to plan for the end of the year.

The Government introduced an unprecedented package of support for sectors and businesses in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This includes, but is not limited to, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and the Bounce Back Loan scheme for SMEs.

We will continue to assess the support needs of the food industry to inform policy both in response to Covid-19 and the end of the transition period as we enter a new trading relationship with the EU.


Written Question
Agriculture
25 Sep 2020, 12:05 p.m.

Questioner: Jim Shannon

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to encourage family farming in the UK.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Agriculture is devolved, so this response will largely refer to policy in England. Now we have left the EU each UK administration has the flexibility to develop agricultural policy suited to its own unique circumstances. For those policy areas where legislation is not required, we are working with the devolved administrations to find approaches that work for the whole of the UK. We are also working closely with the devolved administrations on an administrative framework to coordinate agricultural support.

Under the new system in England, we will move away from subsidies based on how much land the farmer has. Instead, the Agriculture Bill will enable us to create an ambitious new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme, based on the principle of “public money for public goods”, which will allow us to reward farmers and land managers who protect our environment. The Bill also provides powers for improved animal welfare, while making sure that farmers can still produce high quality food in a sustainable way.

Public goods benefit more than just the recipient and cannot be rewarded by the market alone. They include things like clean and plentiful water, clean air, thriving plants and wildlife, reduction in and protection from environmental hazards, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change, and beauty, heritage and engagement with the environment.

By paying for things the public value, we can also improve animal welfare and reduce the use of antibiotics in our food chain. Targeted financial assistance for innovations such as precision farming can help farmers to reduce costs and improve their yields, while enhancing the environment.

Defra is providing £1 million grant funding this year for nine projects to provide resilience support to farmers and land managers in England to help them prepare for the Agricultural Transition period that will take place from 2021-27. One of these projects is working to improve the resilience of more than 120 small family farms in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. The impact and value for money of each of the approaches will be evaluated to assess whether a scale-up of the interventions would be effective and provide good value for taxpayers’ money.


Written Question
Fish: Sales
24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) within the statutory deadlines in 2018 for fish landed by UK vessels in England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.


Written Question
Fish: Sales
24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) inside the statutory deadlines in 2019 for fish landed by UK vessels within the Marine Management Organisation's (i) south east and (ii) east marine districts.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.


Written Question
Fish: Sales
24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted (a) outside and (b) within the statutory deadlines in 2019 for fish landed by UK vessels in England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.


Written Question
Fish: Sales
24 Sep 2020, 5:12 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether the Marine Management Organisation always records as first sales the fish landed in England and transported subsequently for onward sale abroad or whether there are circumstances when any such sales abroad are not recorded by the Marine Management Organisation as first sales.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The following table provides data on the numbers of sales notes submitted inside and outside of statutory deadlines:

Sales notes submitted within statutory deadlines

Sales notes submitted outside statutory deadlines

2018 (England total)

55505

85687

2019 (England total)

55291

88482

2019 (South East District)

12977

28330

2019 (East District)

4209

9563

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) undertakes desk-based checks of sales notes submitted, working with industry to support the submission of timely and accurate data. Where consistent failure to submit data in a timely manner occurs the MMO also has powers to take enforcement action. Since 2018, checks undertaken by the MMO have resulted in action being taken against 178 merchants for late submissions, failure to submit and inaccurate submissions.

The MMO has also launched an initiative to increase understanding among fishermen in England of the benefits to the industry of individual fishermen and merchants submitting timely and accurate data. The additional support and assurance being offered by the MMO seeks to assist the industry in meeting its legal responsibilities to submit sales data on time.


Written Question
Fish: Sales
24 Sep 2020, 5:09 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, how many sales notes were submitted with incomplete data for fish landed by UK vessels in 2019 in England.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The information requested is not held centrally and to obtain it would incur disproportionate costs.


Written Question
Fisheries
24 Sep 2020, 4:53 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, whether he has made a recent assessment of the potential for European Commission infraction of the UK for the lack of control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales identified in the 19 September 2013 Commission pilot infraction letter and in subsequent correspondence.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The letter dated 19 September 2013 from the European Commission to Defra raised issues regarding the UK’s implementation of the Control Regulation. The UK Fisheries Authorities worked closely together to address the issues noted and undertook a number of actions to resolve the EU’s concerns. This included implementing new IT systems and a focused campaign with industry to increase understanding and compliance. This issue was closed to the satisfaction of the Commission in August 2018.

All the Fisheries Administrations continue to work together to ensure compliance with all aspect of fisheries legislation, including control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will once again become an Independent Coastal State, no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy and we will be able to set our own rules on fisheries including control and enforcement.


Written Question
Fisheries
24 Sep 2020, 4:53 p.m.

Questioner: Luke Pollard

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to the 19 September 2013 European Commission pilot infraction letter to his Department and subsequent correspondence, whether the UK has tackled to the satisfaction of the Commission the lack of control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

The letter dated 19 September 2013 from the European Commission to Defra raised issues regarding the UK’s implementation of the Control Regulation. The UK Fisheries Authorities worked closely together to address the issues noted and undertook a number of actions to resolve the EU’s concerns. This included implementing new IT systems and a focused campaign with industry to increase understanding and compliance. This issue was closed to the satisfaction of the Commission in August 2018.

All the Fisheries Administrations continue to work together to ensure compliance with all aspect of fisheries legislation, including control and enforcement of fish catches, landings and sales. At the end of the Transition Period, the UK will once again become an Independent Coastal State, no longer bound by the Common Fisheries Policy and we will be able to set our own rules on fisheries including control and enforcement.


Written Question
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Sustainable Development
24 Sep 2020, 4:51 p.m.

Questioner: Paula Barker

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what plans he has to discuss sustainability at his Department with civil service unions.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

As with any plans that will impact on the way we work, we will be discussing these with staff and unions. This is because, in order to tackle the sustainability challenge, we need the support and engagement of all of our employees.

In addition to our internal engagement, as Senior Responsible Owner for Sustainable Information Technology (IT) Across Government and in partnership with the UNFCCC, we’ve produced learning and development material for 400,000 civil servants across Government, which we’ve also shared globally through the United Nations.


Written Question
Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Carbon Emissions
24 Sep 2020, 4:48 p.m.

Questioner: Paula Barker

Question

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, if he will place in the Library his Department's plan to reduce its carbon emissions.

Answer (Victoria Prentis)

Defra has a number of initiatives to reduce carbon emissions which include:

  • Reducing our property footprint
  • Generating renewable energy on our properties (such as solar panels) so that they are self-powered as much as possible
  • Increasing energy efficiency by increasing insulation, replacing lighting, heating and air handling systems and using modern building management systems to minimise energy consumption
  • Offsetting through tree-planting

As well as our internal initiatives, Defra is the Senior Responsible Owner for sustainable information technology (IT) across Government. Our vision for sustainability in Digital, Data and Technology Services (DDTS) is to show leadership and expertise as a “Centre of Excellence”. We have worked with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, as a centre of excellence in sustainable IT, to help 200,000 businesses with their net zero targets:

https://defradesa.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/14/working-towards-achieving-a-sustainable-future-defra-unfccc/

Our current commitments for carbon reduction are published at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greening-government-commitments-2018-to-2019-annual-report. These will be updated for the next four years in April 2021 and they will set out our targets up until 2025.

Our DDTS have set out the Defra Group sustainable IT strategy to 2025. This is available here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/defra-group-sustainable-information-technology-it-strategy

We are currently finalising our bid for funding under SR20. Once we know Defra’s settlement, we will be updating our plans to further reduce our carbon emissions over the next four years.