Divisive HFC carbon-cut plants gain W.Bank support

Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:20pm GMT

* World Bank supports HFC-23 projects, knocks gaming claims

* Says newer plants less efficient than older ones under CDM

* Warns against suspending CDM methodology before int'l pact

By Michael Szabo

LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The World Bank has voiced support for chemical plants that destroy a potent greenhouse gas called HFC-23, which green groups have accused of increasing production to get extra carbon offsets worth millions of dollars. Approved under the Kyoto Protocol's $2.7 billion Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) scheme, the 19 plants, mainly in China and India, receive offsets from the UN for incinerating a refrigerant waste gas called hydrofluorocarbon-23.

But environmental groups including Germany's CDM Watch have accused the plants of intentionally boosting refrigerant gas production to destroy more HFC-23 and collect more offsets.

"The analysis conducted by CDM Watch is based on a narrow and simplistic approach...Key parameters have been discarded from the analysis, such as operating conditions and technical capacity," the World Bank said in a report on its website.

"There is not sufficient evidence to support the allegations."   Continued...

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