June 25, 2015

Driving home our message

Yves Bonte, Head of Yara's Industrial segment, addressed a European Parliament gathering in Brussels this week. His message was clear: Yara has the solutions for cleaner air – and it is all about specialist knowledge!
Yves Bonte at EU Parliament
Yves Bonte at EU Parliament

Unlocking the potential of nitrogen was the main focus of Yves’ presentation. He explained how Yara’s emissions to air (E2A) solutions fight air pollution and contribute to safeguarding life and the environment.

“Yara is investing and expanding in the area of air pollution control technologies. We are doing this because we see a societal need, we see a technical opportunity given our position in nitrogen chemistry and, as a company, we see a strong business case,” Yves told the audience, which included politicians, civil servants, scientists and other stakeholders. The meeting was initiated by two members of the European Parliament – MEP Julie Girling and MEP Peter Jahr – and was organized by Fertilizers Europe.

With over 400,000 deaths per year, the human toll for poor air quality is worse than for road traffic accidents, making air pollution the number one environmental cause of premature death in the EU, according to the European Commission.

“Clean air is essential to life. We cannot survive without it. This is why combating air pollution on land and sea has become a major challenge – and a business opportunity for Yara,” Yves said, pointing out that one in eight deaths worldwide are caused by air pollution, while the societal cost of air pollution in the EU is roughly 1 trillion dollars.

It is possible!

Yves went on to explain how nitrogen oxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels can be abated through the precise technological application of chemistry – nitrogen chemistry to be specific.

“Yara has helped its customers within transport, shipping and industrial manufacturing, to reduce more than 1.1 million tons of harmful nitrogen oxides emissions NOx in 2014, which is approximately the same as what a country like France emits per year,” he said.

In 2013, the European Commission proposed the “clean air package”, a set of new measures to reduce air pollution. The policy package aims to reduce harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment.

Yara’s E2A solutions for vehicles, ships and stationary plants form part of the solution.

“We need a holistic approach,” Yves told the audience. “It is possible. The chemistry is known and mastered. The technology is available and affordable. We are developing these solutions and applying them in our activities today,” he concluded.

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