In recent months, Vietnam has taken further steps towards climate-friendly nitric acid production with the support of the IKI-funded Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG).
In October 2019, Vietnam signed the NACAG Declaration, expressing its support for the initiative’s goals. Since then, several technical meetings have taken place with various public and private stakeholders, such as the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT), the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment (MONRE), the Vietnamese Environmental Agency (VEA) and the nitric acid producer MICCO Thai Binh. During these discussions, a roadmap towards a climate-friendly transformation of Vietnam’s nitric acid productions sector has been developed. The NACAG Secretariat is currently engaging with MONRE and VEA to develop a policy for climate-friendly nitric acid production.
To reduce nitrous oxide emissions worldwide, NACAG provides both technical and political support, advising governments on the long-term regulation of these emissions and helping to integrate the sector into Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Nitrous oxide occurs as an unwanted by-product during nitric acid manufacturing. It is an ozone-depleting substance and a highly potent greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 265 times that of carbon dioxide (CO2).
NACAG is offering financial support to Vietnam’s nitric acid producers to purchase and install greenhouse gas mitigation technology and monitoring equipment. In this way, around 300,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent could be mitigated annually, contributing to Vietnam’s NDC target for reducing GHG emissions.
A growing number of countries worldwide is making use of NACAG’s offer. As of June 2021, 13 countries apart from Vietnam have joined the Action Group, declaring support for the goals of the initiative. Out of these, seven countries – namely Tunisia, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Mexico, Zimbabwe and Argentina – have signed the Statement of Undertaking (SoU), a binding commitment to continue mitigation activities under their responsibility from 2024 onward. Following this step, the plant operators in these countries became eligible for funding. The combined mitigation potential of these seven countries amounts to more than three million tons of CO2e per year.
This year, two nitric acid plants located in Tunisia and Zimbabwe have signed grant agreements with NACAG, under which NACAG will provide the finances to purchase and install greenhouse gas abatement technology and monitoring equipment. Mexico and Colombia have included the nitric acid sector in their recent NDC updates. These developments mark an essential step in NACAG’s journey towards a climate-friendly transformation of the global nitric acid industry.
Established in 2015 by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) at UNFCCC’s 21st Conference of the Parties in Paris, NACAG works to create incentives for the permanent reduction of nitrous oxide emissions.