US Non-Profit Aims to Reduce Emissions of Nitrous Oxide from Chinese Chemical Plants
The Climate Action Reserve, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, has launched an initiative to curb emissions of nitrous oxide, a potent climate pollutant, from chemical plants in China. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is almost 300 times more effective at warming the planet than carbon dioxide. It is a byproduct of the manufacturing of adipic acid, a key ingredient in the production of nylon 6,6. Most adipic acid plants outside of China installed pollution controls in the 1990s, eliminating 99 percent of nitrous oxide emissions. The new initiative seeks to establish a protocol for verifying nitrous oxide emissions and issuing emissions reduction credits. As Chinese chemical companies reduce their emissions, other companies worldwide can purchase these credits to offset their own emissions. The initiative aims to incentivize emissions reductions while avoiding the mistakes of past programs. Some critics argue that the initiative rewards bad behavior and that mandatory regulations would be a better approach.