Chemical industry deal on energy sets poor precedent

The Chemical Industries Association (CIA) has signed a voluntary agreement with the Government to reduce its members' energy consumption per tonne of product by 20% between 1990 and 2005. The target may be more challenging than seemed likely a few months ago because the agreement has tighter rules than the CIA has been using. But the agreement lacks an accurate baseline, and fails to conform with new EC guidelines on voluntary agreements in several areas - notably transparency.

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