§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on the environmental impact of wind farms. 
§ Mr. Timms
The Energy White Paper published in February 2003 set out the Government's energy policy to tackle the crucial environmental challenge of climate change. The challenge we face is to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, one of the main causes of climate charge, which have risen by more than a third since the industrial revolution and are now rising faster than at any time in the past.
The Government has set the target of obtaining 10 per cent. of our electricity from renewable sources by 2010, with the aspiration of doubling this by 2020.617W
Renewable energy will make an important contribution to the Government's wider climate change programme. It is estimated that increased renewable energy generation, to meet the 2010 target, will deliver additional carbon savings of some 2.5 million tonnes of carbon per year by 2010, and that doubling this by 2020 would achieve further cuts of some 3 to 5 million tonnes of carbon per year above that by 2020. Wind power is expected to make the largest contribution of between 7 and 8 per cent. towards the 2010 renewable electricity generation target and the positive environmental impact that will make.
Under the normal planning regime and for consent under section 36 of the Electricity Act 1989 or the Transport and Works Act 1992 wind farm developers are required to consider all environmental aspects of wind energy projects and produce an Environmental Impact Assessment. These assessments are available to the public.