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Nitric Acid Climate Action Group

The low demand for certificates under the CDM means that hardly any transactions are taking place. Given the continued low price for CERs, only few requests for certificate issuance are being submitted and project registration is stagnating to boot. This raises the question as to how climate change mitigation activities initiated under the CDM can be continued in times of poor CER demand. Among the projects at risk of being stalled are activities to reduce emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in nitric acid production. These emissions can be relatively easily reduced and at relatively low cost. Nitric acid is a raw material used in nitrogen-based fertilisers. Nitrous oxide is a by-product which occurs in nitric acid production and is often emitted into the atmosphere untreated. It has a global warming potential some 264 times higher than that of carbon dioxide. In the past, the CDM has been used to reduce large quantities of the emissions which occur in fertiliser production. However, due to the fall in prices for certificates, there is a risk that available reduction technology can no longer be used and that this extremely cheap reduction potential can no longer be tapped.

Against this backdrop, the BMU initiated the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) with the ambitious goal of halting nitrous oxide emissions in nitric acid production by 2020. To drive sectoral transformation, NACAG offers guidance and information. It also provides financial support for partner countries willing to exploit this cost-effective reduction potential and take mitigation into their own hands from 2020. This creates incentives to continue CDM projects at risk and to initiate new climate action activities.

Countries can express their interest in joining NACAG by signing a membership declaration. NACAG, which is operated by GIZ, offers both partner countries and facility operators guidance and advice in matters concerning regulation as well as technical support in the use of available emission reduction technologies. In several countries that have joined NACAG, exchange has already begun at government level and with local facility operators. Those countries include Tunisia, Egypt, India, and Trinidad and Tobago. Partnerships with other countries are to follow in order to drive sectoral transformation worldwide.

Recent developments

Mai 2017 - NACAG portal goes online

Nitric Acid Climate Action Group

Implementation: Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH; Norwegian Carbon Credit Procurement Program
Lifecycle: since 2015
Contact: Thomas Forth, thomas.forth.extern@bmu.bund.de / Enrico Rubertus, Projektleiter, NACAG-Sekretariat enrico.rubertus@giz.de