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Initiative for global abatement of nitrous oxide emissions in nitric acid production

(Photo: BMU)

December 2015 – Germany is committed to transformative processes in international climate change efforts. The goal of the new initiative launched by the German Federal Environment Ministry is for all facilities used for manufacturing nitric acid to be equipped with nitrous oxide abatement technology by 2020. This will stop N2O emissions in an entire sector.

When manufacturing nitric acid the release of greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided by using available technology and at low cost. Tapping this reduction potential amounts to harvesting the low hanging fruit in international climate change effort. Although CDM activities have achieved huge reductions in nitrous oxide emissions, these projects are increasingly at risk due to the collapse of the carbon market.

Germany wants to work with like-minded countries to close this gap by 2010. The new Nitric Acid Climate Action Group thus offers guidance and information and provides financial support for those countries willing to pursue this low-cost potential post 2020. This will allow CDM projects at risk to be secured through the purchase of CERs and provide incentive for new projects. There is, however, one condition: that the developing countries take mitigation into their own hands when the Paris Agreement enters into force in 2021.