Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee

Session 2006-07

13 December 2006

13 December 2006

Climate change: the role of bioenergy: Committee disappointed by lack of ambition in Government Response to its Report

The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee reported on Climate change: the role of bioenergy in its Eighth Report of Session 2005-06, published on 18 September 2006 as HC 965-I. The Government's response to the Report was received on 21 November 2006. It will be published at 00.01 am on Wednesday 13 December.

In its Special Report accompanying the publication of the Government Response, the Committee makes the following comments:

We are disappointed that in its response to our Report the Government has not engaged with our call for it to be more ambitious in its policy on bioenergy. This continued lack of ambition is particularly apparent in its response to recommendation 29 of our Report. We remain unconvinced that the Government will meet its commitment to make the Government estate carbon neutral by 2012 when the only step towards this has been the completion of the first phase of a mapping exercise of part of Defra's estate to assess its suitability for the use of biomass heat.

We repeat our conclusion that the Government needs to do much more to bring together the various aspects of its bioenergy strategy in a single cohesive policy. We expect the Government to make this work a key focus of its forthcoming Energy White Paper. In addition, we believe that the White Paper should be focussed on climate change and not on energy alone.

We note the establishment of the Office of Climate Change in the context of the urgent need for more effective co-ordination of climate change work across Government. The new Office should make an early review of the Government's progress on bioenergy a priority. We look forward to taking evidence from the Head of the Office of Climate Change once this major appointment has been made.