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Written Question
Israel: Palestinians
Wednesday 9th November 2022

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what discussions they have had with the government of Israel regarding the continued (1) killing, and (2) injury, of Palestinian children by (a) Israeli forces, and (b) Israeli settlers in the West Bank, this year.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We regularly raise the issue of Palestinians killed and injured by Israeli Defence Forces in the West Bank and Gaza with the Israeli authorities, encouraging them to carry out swift, transparent and thorough investigations and if wrongdoing is found, that those responsible be held to account. We will continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.


Written Question
Israel: Palestinians
Wednesday 9th November 2022

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask His Majesty's Government what estimate they have made of (1) the number of incidents in which Palestinian children were (a) killed, and (b) injured, by Israeli settlers in the West Bank, (2) the number of investigations that were opened by the Israeli authorities into those incidents, and (3) the number of those investigations which led to an arrest or charge, in the last five years.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

We regularly raise the issue of Palestinians killed and injured by Israeli Defence Forces in the West Bank and Gaza with the Israeli authorities, encouraging them to carry out swift, transparent and thorough investigations and if wrongdoing is found, that those responsible be held to account. We will continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population, particularly the need to protect children, and urge restraint in the use of live fire.


Written Question
Out-of-school Education
Thursday 30th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what mechanisms they have to monitor the number of children at risk in unregistered religious settings.

Answered by Baroness Barran

Local authorities are legally responsible for safeguarding and promoting the welfare of all children in their areas, regardless of the educational setting they attend.

Where local authorities have safeguarding concerns, the department expects their services to intervene. There are a range of powers held by local agencies which can be utilised where concerns have been identified, for example, around health and safety, premises regulations and general safeguarding.

Where local authorities believe that a child is suffering or is likely to suffer significant harm, they have a legal duty to investigate where necessary.

The department consulted in 2020 on widening the registration requirement to settings that operate full time but only offer a very narrow curriculum, which would include a number of full-time religious settings that are currently allowed to operate without having to register. The department will respond to this consultation soon, setting out next steps.

The department has also committed to taking forward measures to make it easier to investigate and prosecute unregistered schools, working with Ofsted and the Crown Prosecution Service. The department intends to take forward these measures when a suitable legislative opportunity arises.


Written Question
Child Sexual Abuse Independent Panel Inquiry
Friday 24th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Education:

To ask Her Majesty's Government (1) how, and (2) when, they plan to respond to the report from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse Child protection in religious organisations and settings: Investigation Report, published in September; and in particular the recommendations that they should (a) “change the definition of full-time education and bring any setting that is a pupil’s primary place of education within the scope of a registered educational setting”, and (b) “provide Ofsted with sufficient powers to examine the quality of child protection when it undertakes inspections of suspected unregistered institutions".

Answered by Baroness Barran

The department is considering the recommendations made by the report on 'Child Protection in Religious Organisations' from the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse. The government is already committed to legislating on both matters. We expect to provide the Inquiry with our response within the standard 6 month timeframe.


Written Question
Lung Diseases: Health Services
Tuesday 7th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to restore the provision of respiratory care to pre-pandemic levels.

Answered by Lord Kamall

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s priorities include tackling the backlog for non-urgent treatment, such as for patients with respiratory diseases. This aims to eliminate waiting times of two years or more, arrest the increase in waiting times of one year and over and stabilise total waiting lists. We have made £1.5 billion available to assist local teams to increase their capacity and invest in other measures to achieve these priorities. NHS Digital’s data for 25 October 2021 shows 4,586 referrals were made for respiratory medicine, compared to 5,032 in January 2020.


Written Question
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Health Services
Tuesday 7th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they will take to ensure that people who need it (1) receive the Five Fundamentals of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Care, and (2) get better access to diagnostic tests.

Answered by Lord Kamall

NHS England and NHS Improvement have considered the report and are discussing the findings with the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK. NHS England and NHS Improvement has a duty of regard in relation to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s quality standards, including the Five Fundamentals of COPD Care. Clinical commissioning groups should have regard to them in planning and delivery of services, as part of a general duty to secure continuous improvement in quality.

The NHS Long Term Plan focuses on expanding pulmonary rehabilitation services over 10 years, to prevent 500,000 exacerbations and avoid 80,000 admissions. Thirty seven ‘early adopter’ community diagnostic centres will provide additional capacity for 610,000 diagnostic tests in 2021/22 and over 813,000 tests in the next 12 months. Local systems are also asked to review plans and progress against the NHS Long Term Plan to support key clinical conditions. For respiratory conditions, this includes pulmonary rehabilitation and spirometry.


Written Question
Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease: Health Services
Tuesday 7th December 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department of Health and Social Care:

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the report by the British Lung Foundation Failing on the fundamentals: Insights from those living with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) around the UK, published in November; and what plans they have to improve the percentage of people with COPD who are receiving the Five Fundamentals of COPD Care.

Answered by Lord Kamall

NHS England and NHS Improvement have considered the report and are discussing the findings with the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK. NHS England and NHS Improvement has a duty of regard in relation to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence’s quality standards, including the Five Fundamentals of COPD Care. Clinical commissioning groups should have regard to them in planning and delivery of services, as part of a general duty to secure continuous improvement in quality.

The NHS Long Term Plan focuses on expanding pulmonary rehabilitation services over 10 years, to prevent 500,000 exacerbations and avoid 80,000 admissions. Thirty seven ‘early adopter’ community diagnostic centres will provide additional capacity for 610,000 diagnostic tests in 2021/22 and over 813,000 tests in the next 12 months. Local systems are also asked to review plans and progress against the NHS Long Term Plan to support key clinical conditions. For respiratory conditions, this includes pulmonary rehabilitation and spirometry.


Written Question
Methane
Thursday 18th November 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the reply by Lord Callanan on 3 November (HL Deb, col 1215), what assessment they have made of the reduction of methane emissions required in different sectors in order for the UK to meet the COP26 pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030; and whether they intend to publish a methane reduction strategy.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

The Global Methane Pledge is a commitment for signatories to take voluntary actions to reduce global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030, against 2020 levels. The UK is proud to have been one of the first signatories to the Global Methane Pledge.

The UK already has a strong record on methane emission reductions, having reduced UK territorial methane emissions by 60% compared to 1990 levels. This is more than any other OECD country. While global methane emissions peaked in 2020, the UK’s methane emissions peaked in 1991 and have decreased substantially since then, due to concerted action across the energy, waste and agriculture sectors. However, we are not resting on our laurels and we will continue to take action to reduce UK methane emissions even further. We have set out our plans to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions across different sectors in the recently published Net Zero Strategy.

International collaboration is vital for making further progress on methane emissions. Sharing best practice, innovative technologies, and collaborating on data and science to ensure we have the most accurate picture of the sources of these emissions, and the most effective solutions. The UK is committed to supporting global action.


Written Question
Overseas Aid and UK Export Finance: Carbon Emissions
Tuesday 25th May 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many countries that have received UK Export Finance or Overseas Development Assistance since 2016 have credible long-term decarbonisation strategies, including nationally determined contributions.

Answered by Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park

The Government is committed to using Official Development Assistance and export finance to support countries on their pathway to decarbonisation. Since 2011/12, UK International Climate Finance has provided 33 million people with improved access to clean energy, avoided 31 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions and installed 2,000 MW in clean energy capacity. Examples of UK Export Finance for decarbonisation include £27 million of support for a solar-powered clean water project in Ghana and over £230 million of support for off-shore wind farms in Taiwan.

The Government's new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas is a further demonstration of the UK's commitment to alignment with the Paris Agreement. 76 countries that have received UK ODA or export finance since 2016 have submitted new or updated NDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as at 14 May 2021. As COP26 President, the UK acknowledges the considerable value of collective efforts to accelerate progress on clean energy. That is why the UK is actively seeking commitments from other countries to adopt more ambitious NDCs and Long-Term Strategies, including adopting an approach to fossil fuel investment as ambitious as the UK's.


Written Question
Fossil Fuels: Overseas Investment
Thursday 29th April 2021

Asked by: Baroness Blackstone (Labour - Life peer)

Question to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office:

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 25 February (HL13294), what assessment they have made of the Science Based Targets initiative; and whether any fossil fuel projects permitted under the "very limited exceptions” will be limited to investments and loan guarantees to organisations committed to the targets of that initiative.

Answered by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon

The Science Based Targets initiative aims to obtain commitments from corporates to reduce their impact on climate change, based on their proportionate contribution to climate targets. As the exemptions within the Government's new policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas are not restricted to corporations, the Science Based Targets initiative was not considered during the formulation of the exemptions within the new policy.

The Government published detailed guidance accompanying the change to its policy on support for the fossil fuel energy sector overseas on 31 March which is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-the-government-will-implement-its-policy-on-support-for-the-fossil-fuel-energy-sector-overseas. We will consider any requests for project financing against the published guidance. The policies of CDC, the UK's development finance institution, are well aligned to the delivery of the Government's new policy.