Arcelor Mittal, the world’s leading steel empire, where he is the chairman and chief executive, will make the gain on "carbon credits" given to it under the European emissions trading scheme (ETS).

Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal will get a 1 billion pound windfall from a European scheme to curb global warming under the “carbon credits” given to it.

His company Arcelor Mittal, the world’s leading steel empire, where he is the chairman and chief executive, will make the gain on “carbon credits” given to it under the European emissions trading scheme (ETS).

The scheme grants companies permits to emit CO2 up to a specified “cap”. Beyond that they must buy extra permits.

An investigation has revealed that ArcelorMittal has been given far more carbon permits than it needs. It has the largest allocation of any organisation in Europe.

The company will have gained assets worth around £1 billion by 2012, The Sunday Times reported on Sunday.

The disclosure comes on the eve of the Copenhagen climate conference, whose main aim is to extend schemes such as the ETS into a global system for trading carbon.

Anna Pearson, an expert on the ETS who carried out the analysis said: “Between 2008 and 2012 ArcelorMittal stands to gain assets worth 1 billion pounds at today’s prices for scant effort.

More In: Companies | Business