To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in what ways the package of measures for waste management set out in the Government's policy statement "The Greater London Authority: The Government's final proposals for additional powers and responsibilities for the Mayor and the Assembly" promotes (a) the use of hydrogen as a transport or stationary fuel source and (b) the use of new technologies to provide renewable sources of hydrogen from waste.
The package of measures set out by the Government provides the Mayor with increased powers and responsibility to deliver his municipal waste management strategy and spatial development strategy for London. The Mayor sets out policies relating to new technologies and renewable energy, which may include hydrogen production, in his municipal waste management strategy. The enhancement of his powers to require waste authorities to deliver services in general conformity with his strategy, along with his existing power of direction, will help ensure the strategic vision the Mayor sets out for London is delivered on the ground.
The waste and recycling forum announced as part of the package will be led by the Mayor to co-ordinate activity across different sectors and address the key strategic issues facing London. The waste and recycling fund is associated with this and should be used to link waste with other London priorities such as transport and climate change. The Mayor leads on the London Hydrogen Partnership, which has just released a report on hydrogen as the bus fuel of the future, where he is working to introduce 70 hydrogen vehicles. I will be interested to see how he takes this forward and links it with waste.
In addition, there will be a dedicated London element to the waste infrastructure development programme (WIDP), which was announced in May 2006, providing a strong role for the Mayor in working with local authorities and the regions to accelerate the building of new waste diversion infrastructure. These revised arrangements should enable the Mayor, boroughs and central Government together to consider more strategically the role of new technologies for treating London's waste, including the scope for hydrogen generation.