A blinkered view of the costs of VOC abatement

A major study of the costs of abating emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from 23 sectors of industry has been published by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).1 It suggests that industry could face an annual bill of £3 billion to reduce its emissions by 68% from 1988 levels - but that the figure could be cut by two-thirds if the least-cost options were selected. However, the conclusions have been undermined by the lack of data on the costs of substituting solvents rather than abating them by end-of-pipe methods, and by the study's failure to examine the benefits of VOC abatement to industry.

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