I remind members, witnesses and persons in the Public Gallery to turn off their mobile telephones. The purpose of today's meeting is to examine two topics. The first session is on calculation of methane emissions and the second will be on sectoral emission ceilings. The committee will hear from a number of expert witnesses and officials from respective Departments.
On 28 February, the legal requirement for mask-wearing in all settings was removed. However, it is still good practice to continue to use face coverings, particularly in crowded areas. The service encourages all members of the parliamentary community to wear face masks when moving around the campus or in close proximity to others.
I wish to bring to everyone's attention some information on privilege. Witnesses giving evidence from within the parliamentary precincts are protected by absolute privilege in respect of the evidence they give to the committee. This means that witnesses have full defence in any defamation action for anything said at a committee meeting. However, witnesses are expected not to abuse this privilege and may be directed by the Chair to cease giving evidence on an issue. Witnesses should follow the direction of the Chair in this regard and are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that, as is reasonable, no adverse commentary should be made against an identifiable third person or entity.
Witnesses who are giving evidence from a location outside the parliamentary precincts are asked to note they may not benefit from the same level of immunity from legal proceedings as witnesses giving evidence from within the parliamentary precincts and may consider it appropriate to take legal advice on this matter. Privilege against defamation does not apply to the publication by witnesses, outside the proceedings held by the committee, of any matter arising from the proceedings.
Members are reminded of the long-standing parliamentary practice to the effect that they should not comment on, criticise or make charges against any person outside the Houses or an official, either by name or in such a way as to make him or her identifiable. Parliamentary privilege is considered to apply to utterances of members participating online in this committee meeting when their participation is from within the parliamentary precincts. There can be no assurance in relation to participation online from outside the parliamentary precincts and members should be mindful of this when they are contributing.
Today's first session until 1 p.m. is on calculation of methane emissions. The committee will hear from representatives from the Carbon Removals Action Group and Professor Myles Allen, Oxford University, and Dr. Frank Mitloehner from the department of animal science, University of California, Davis, who is joining remotely. I will now call the witnesses to make their opening statements. To leave ample time for questions, I would like them to confine their opening statements to five minutes if that is okay.