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UK’s richest man could make more than £1bn from carbon trading scheme

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Wednesday, Dec 16th, 2009

New analysis released by climate change NGO Sandbag has revealed that the UK’s richest resident, Lakshmi Mittal, CEO and major shareholder of the steel giant ArcelorMittal, could make over £1 billion between now and 2012 from his company’s participation in the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

ArcelorMittal has over 14 million emissions permits that it does not need in 2008, a figure which Sandbag estimates will rise to 80 million by 2012 making it by far the biggest beneficiary of the scheme across the EU.

Sandbag has written to CEO Laksmi Mittal urging him to commit to cancelling his company’s unneeded emissions permits in what would be the largest act of climate philanthropy on record. If cancelled the 80 million surplus permits would prevent 80 million tonnes worth of pollution going into the world’s atmosphere, equivalent to the annual emissions of Denmark, the country where critical climate change talks are just commencing. Such an act would also come close to matching the cuts required the UK’s whole carbon budget between now and 2012.

Anna Pearson, Head of Policy at Sandbag commented: “ArcelorMittal received its emissions permits for free and could choose to cancel them; we’re calling on them to trade in the windfall profits they could make, for positive action on climate change. This would set an example to not only business and industry worldwide but to our global leaders set to meet in Copenhagen in the coming fortnight.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2009 at 5:12 am

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