Chemical manufacturers in the U.K. are worried that the nation's ambitious emissions targets -- far higher than the European Union's -- will drive companies to cheaper sites overseas. The U.K. government wants emissions levels to fall by 34% by 2020, compared with the EU goal of 20%, and requires manufacturers to buy permits for increasingly lower emissions allowances and pay penalties for going over those limits. More than two-thirds of the chemical companies in the U.K. are multinationals whose likely response is to move overseas. The British chemical industry employs 180,000 people and generates 12% of value-added manufacturing.

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