Low-Carbon Ammonia Certification

The AEA is seeking to facilitate the establishment of a globally harmonised Certification Scheme for Low-Carbon Ammonia  to support the development of a market for low- and zero-carbon ammonia. The Certification Scheme will quantify the absolute GHG emissions associated with ammonia production, and enable prospective producers and consumers to trade ammonia on the basis of certified, transparent, and verifiable emission reductions.

Click to download. Ammonia Energy Association, Low-Carbon Ammonia Certification — Discussion Paper.

To enable this, we have published a Discussion Paper designed to illustrate our initial thinking around a Low-Carbon Ammonia Certification Scheme and stimulate discussion of its potential merits, limitations, and design details.

The Certification Scheme will be developed by a Steering Group and Working Groups organized by the AEA and led by AEA members. Nonetheless, the success of the Certification Scheme will depend on the participation of many strategic partners (AEA affiliates and non-members) who will play crucial roles both in informing the design phase and in supporting the adoption phase. The AEA aims to formalize existing relationships and forge new links with like-minded organizations – international, regional, and sectoral; governmental, industrial, and academic – in order that relevant parties can be integrated meaningfully into the scheme’s development process.

This Discussion Paper and the Survey, which follows below, launch the initial Consultation Phase during which the AEA aims (1) to solicit feedback on the Certification Scheme’s proposed objectives, principles, governance, and implementation, as well as (2) to invite expressions of interest in participating in Working Groups and/or (3) to invite expressions of interest in piloting the Certification Scheme.

The AEA invites any interested organization to provide feedback through the Survey below.

To be considered within the initial consultation, feedback must be received by end of day on Sunday, October 31, 2021. However, please note that the AEA will continue to collect stakeholder input on an ongoing basis, and expressions of interest in joining a Working Group or proposing a pilot project are encouraged at any time.

Before completing the Survey, please read the Discussion Paper, which has been designed to illustrate our initial thinking around a Low-Carbon Ammonia Certification Scheme and stimulate discussion of its potential merits, limitations, and design details.

The Survey may take 30-60 minutes or more to complete. You can save your partial submission and complete it later by scrolling to the end and selecting Save and Continue Later.

Low-Carbon Ammonia Certification — Survey

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Name*
Discussion Paper*
Have you read the Discussion Paper ?

Strategic Objectives

Global harmonization
Question: Do you agree that the long-term aim of the Certification Scheme should be to develop a “globally harmonised” standard (acknowledging that early / pilot projects may require regional or bilateral agreements)?
International trade
Question: Do you agree that the primary purpose of the Certification Scheme should be to lower the barriers to international trade of low- or zero-carbon ammonia?
Absolute emissions
Question: Do you agree that the Certification Scheme must begin by quantifying absolute emissions (carbon intensity of production)?
Omissions or exclusions
Question: Are there any critical aspects of low-carbon ammonia certification that are omitted or excluded by our proposed “Strategic Objectives”?

Design Principles — General

Product tons
Question: Do you agree that the certification process should focus on product tons, creating a basis for trade, as opposed to verifying plant/site or corporate emissions?
Absolute life-cycle emissions
Question: Do you agree that the basis for certification should be absolute life-cycle emissions, as opposed to categories (eg, technology pathways, blue/green)?
Clean Development Mechanism approach
Question: Do you agree that the Certification Scheme should extend to a CDM approach (emission reductions – use cases) and not restrict itself only to quantification of absolute emissions (carbon intensity – production sites)?
Inclusive
Question: Do you agree that the Certification Scheme should be open to all ammonia plants and not restricted to low-carbon production sites (eg, certifying baseline emissions in advance of decarbonization)?
Tradable
Question: Do you agree that it would be beneficial to design low-carbon ammonia certificates to be fungible, i.e., able to be traded independently from the physical ammonia product (assuming that there is a robust, transparent, and trusted system for managing the full certificate lifecycle including resale and retirement)?

Design Principles — Key Methodological References

References
Question: Are any significant references missing from the Key Methodological References on Page 10?
Conflicts
Question: Are there any existing or anticipated conflicts between the Key Methodological References that would make it challenging to pursue global harmonization?
Prescriptive
Question: Even with these existing standards and references, there can be a large variance in the outcome based on accounting boundaries, data sources, baselines, and allocation decisions. How prescriptive should the Certification Scheme aim to be?

Design Principles — GHG Emissions, Scope

Well-to-gate
Question: Do you agree that the Certification Scheme should include well-to-gate emissions (scopes 1+2 and upstream 3) as opposed to limiting measurement to emissions within the plant boundary (scopes 1+2 but not 3)?
Sustainability metrics
Question: Do you agree that the Certification Scheme should only measure and track GHG emission intensity (CO2e/tNH3) and not other sustainability metrics (eg, water intensity, energy intensity, biodiversity impacts, environmental justice, etc)?

Design Principles — Pathways — Production and Utilization

Missing production pathways
Question: With reference to the Summary of Design Principles table on Page 15, listing 12 ammonia production pathways, are we overlooking any critical production technologies?
Question: Which of these production pathways are the most critical to define in the initial phase?
Production pathways to exclude
Question: Should any production pathways be excluded from the Certification Scheme?
Missing utilization pathways
Question: With reference to the Summary of Design Principles table on Page 15, listing 10 ammonia utilization pathways, are we overlooking any critical technologies or use-cases?
Question: Which utilization pathways are the most critical to define in the initial phase?
Utilization pathways to exclude
Question: Should any utilization pathways be excluded from the Certification Scheme?

Design Principles — Regulations

Question: Which existing or developing regulations, standards, or certifications are critical for initial harmonization with the Certification Scheme?
Question: Are there any existing or developing regulations, standards, or certifications that are NOT appropriate for harmonization with the Certification Scheme?
Characterization of ammonia
Question: Do you agree that the Certification Scheme should aim to characterize ammonia (ie, defining terms like “blue” or “low-carbon”)?
Market thresholds
Question: Do you agree that characterization of ammonia (ie, defining “blue” or “low-carbon”) should be driven by insight into major end-use cases (eg, thresholds in markets for emission reductions) rather than by insight into production pathways (eg, thresholds inherent in synthesis technology)?

Implementation Strategy and Proposed Governance

Do you have any feedback relating to the Implementation Phase?
Do you have any feedback relating to the Operational Phase?

Establishment Timeline

Do you have any feedback relating to the Establishment Timeline?

Expression of Interest — Working Groups

Qualified and committed individuals representing commercial companies (AEA Members) and other entities (AEA non-members, including government agencies, NGOs, trade associations, universities, etc) will collaborate through three Working Groups. While the exact commitment and level of expectation is not defined, Working Group participants would be expected to contribute time, expertise, and insight to the Certification Scheme. Please use this Expression of Interest to explain the interest that you (self) or your colleagues (others) have in participating in the Working Groups under this initiative.
WG1: Principles and Methods*
Please identify qualified individuals
If not self, please also specify Name, Role, Organization, and E-mail address of the other individual you are nominating.
WG2: Pathways*
Please identify qualified individuals
If not self, please also specify Name, Role, Organization, and E-mail address of the other individual you are nominating.
WG3: Regulations*
Please identify qualified individuals
If not self, please also specify Name, Role, Organization, and E-mail address of the other individual you are nominating.

Pilot Projects

We expect that the initial pathways defined during the development of the Certification Scheme will be paired with a commitment from AEA member companies and partners to pilot the protocol for each pathway.
Pilot Projects*
Is your organization interested in piloting the AEA's proposed scheme?
Please provide information about your project, including production/utilization pathway, scale, and timing, and other relevant information to help us assess this Expression of Interest.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.