§ Mr. Meacher
For the purpose of the climate change levy, energy intensive operations have been defined as those listed in Annex Ito the European Union's Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control Directive. Sites which undertake operations of this type may join an appropriate sectoral energy efficiency agreement. Sectors which are able to negotiate satisfactory agreements will be eligible for reduced rates of levy.
We have received suggestions from industry for alternative definitions and are giving these consideration as part of overall consideration of industry representations on the design of the levy.
§ Mr. Brake
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions with which less energy-intensive sectors the Government have started preliminary discussions on energy efficiency agreements; and to what extent those discussions have included the possibility of linking in with such agreements a mechanism for varying rates of climate change levy. 
§ Mr. Meacher
The Government are not discussing energy efficiency agreements with less energy-intensive sectors. The Government invited the ten largest energy intensive industry sectors to participate in negotiations for energy efficiency agreements in March this year. Subsequently, we have initiated negotiations for agreements with a number of smaller energy intensive sectors.
In both cases, the Government are offering the prospect of significantly lower rates of levy for those sectors that can agree targets for improving their energy efficiency which meet the Government's criteria.
We have received representations from some non-intensive sectors. For non-intensive sectors, it may be worthwhile for them to explore the possibility of voluntary energy efficiency agreements under the Government's energy efficiency best practice programme. Though voluntary agreements would not entitle participants to discounts from the levy, they would facilitate the sharing of best practice, benchmarking, and other information between companies. They would also help them cut out waste, save money and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.