8 April 2021, Bangkok – H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa, the Minister of Natural Resources and Environment signed a Statement of Undertaking (SoU) on Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) and will hand over to H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt, the German Ambassador to Thailand on behalf of the German government at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. The Statement is an expression of commitment to phase out nitrous oxide (N2O) emission with the contribution to reduce climate change impacts. The ceremony was conducted virtually.
N2O is one of the climate super-pollutants and is 265 times more harmful than CO2. It is released during the production of nitric acid which is used as a raw material in chemical industry in particular, fertilizer production. This emission can be reduced by cost-effective N2O abating technology.
In this regard, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) initiated NACAG with currently 14 countries having signed the NACAG Declaration and 6 countries including Thailand having signed the Statement of Undertaking. This initiative, implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH aims to incentivise partner countries to commit to phase out nitrous oxide emissions from nitric acid industry from 2024 onwards.
In the recognition of the challenges that the country and the world have faced, Thailand is taking actions to achieve substantial long-term mitigation results. H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa had made the first step by signing the NACAG Declaration at UNFCCC COP 25, held in December 2019 in Spain. In supporting NACAG’s goals, this implementation will also contribute to Thailand’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) with its target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20-25 percent from business-as-usual (BAU) level by 2030. GIZ, through the Thai – German Climate Programme – Climate Policy will undertake the coordination with the NACAG Secretariat for the installation of the abatement technology, capacity building, maintenance, monitoring and evaluation to ensure N2O emissions is removed effectively from the production cycle. The implementation of this project will commence on 1 May 2021. Moreover, TGCP Policy implements this project in cooperation with ONEP, Department of Industrial Works (DIW) and various offices under DIW in order to develop policy tools to stop nitrous oxide emission and that will reduce the impacts of climate change in Thailand sustainably.
Thailand is a home to one nitric acid plant. The emission reduction potential of this sector amounts to an estimated 180,000 t CO2e annually (equivalent to CO2 absorption of 12 million trees).
H.E. Mr. Varawut Silpa-archa expressed that “Thailand is enthusiastic to be part of this initiative and we will work together with the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the NACAG Secretariat and GIZ towards a paradigm shift of worldwide phasing out of nitrous oxide emission from nitric acid production…I sincerely hope that the lesson we learnt from NACAG will allow us to expand Thai-German collaboration to strengthen actions in other sectors. I believe that this kind of win-win cooperation will form a building block of trust and create a solid foundation for global collaboration to achieve the Paris Agreement Goals.”
H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt reiterated that “The fight against climate change has many fronts. The Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) is one example. It is initiated by Germany and aims to support partner countries worldwide to stop N2O emissions from nitric acid production. I am very glad that Thailand – as the first country in South East Asia and the sixth country in the world – has joined the NACAG and committed to a climate-friendly transformation of its nitric acid sector. The emission reductions which can be achieved amount to more than 180,000 tons of CO2e annually – which is equivalent to 65,000 return flights between Bangkok and Berlin. A milestone in the Thai-German cooperation against climate change.”
NACAG was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and launched at the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP) 21 in Paris. Its objective is to incentivize the installation of effective N2O abatement technology in every nitric acid plant worldwide. It is equipped with 70 Mil. Euro financial resources. The global mitigation potential of the nitric acid sector until 2030 is more than a gigaton of CO2e.