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Indians make cool £300m in carbon farce

[In] a deal that has angered envi-ronmentalists, the Indian company SRF, which produces refrigeration gases at a sprawling chemical plant in Rajasthan, stands to make a profit of more than £300m from the bizarre arrangement that is supposed to combat climate change.

[The] Indian company has spent just £1.4m in equipment to reduce its emissions, but it will reap a profit of more than 200 times that amount from British investors and others.

It is now using the money it has made to expand production of another greenhouse gas, which is a thousand times more damaging than CO2. Other manufacturers in India and China producing similar products are expected to earn an estimated £3.3 billion over the next six years by cutting emissions at a cost of just £67m.

[The] plant produces a chemical called HCFC-22, which is used for refrigerators and air-condi-tioning systems. A byproduct of its manufacture is a gas called HFC-23 (trifluoromethane) - one of the world's worst greenhouse emissions as it traps large amounts of the sun's heat.

It is relatively cheap to install equipment to destroy the gas and most western producers have voluntarily done so. It is now illegal to let the gas escape into the atmosphere in Britain. This is not so in India.

by das monde on Wed Apr 25th, 2007 at 01:52:36 AM EST
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