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Shell shifts emissions load to India’s SRF

The Business (EU): Shell shifts emissions load to India’s SRF

“ROYAL Dutch Shell has taken a stake in one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas reduction projects to help counteract its soaring emissions as it shifts production towards more polluting oil sands.”

Sunday September 11, 2005

By: Richard Orange

ROYAL Dutch Shell has taken a stake in one of the world’s largest greenhouse gas reduction projects to help counteract its soaring emissions as it shifts production towards more polluting oil sands.

Shell will buy the right to emit 500,000 metric tons of carbon from Indian chemicals firm SRF, its first involvement in a project that could earn more than $500m (£270m, E400m).

Richard Gledhill, global head of climate change at PricewaterhouseCoopers, which arranged the deal, told The Business: “This project is one of the biggest around. The point is that they’re about to put the project in for registration. It’s already been commissioned.”

Three years ago, Shell met its target to cut internal greenhouse gas emissions by 10% compared with 1990 levels.

Since then, its emissions have been creeping up. Its latest target is simply to limit this rise so that emissions are 5% below 1990 levels by 2010.

The SRF plan is one of three big projects reducing emissions of HFC 23, a hydro-fluoro carbon 10,000 times as powerful a contributor to global warming as carbon dioxide.

Cutting HFC 23 emissions is one of the most efficient ways of reducing greenhouse gases because a far lower volume of gas needs to be disposed of to gain credits. These gases have nothing do with the oil industry, but Shell’s involvment gives it credits to set against its own emissions.

SRF last week began capturing and destroying HFC 23, a by-product of the refridgerant industry, and will soon seek to have the project registered by the United Nations.

Two other HFC projects have already been approved – one at Gujarat Fluorochemicals in India and the other in South Korea.

Gledhill said the projects showed the Clean Development Mechanism, which has been widely attacked by environmentalists, worked. It allows companies and countries to meet their Kyoto targets by cutting carbon emissions in the developing world rather than at home.

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