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Nitric Acid Climate Action Group

Background and Objective

Nitrous oxide (N2O), also known as laughing gas, is a very powerful greenhouse gas with a global warming potential 265 times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2). A major source of N2O emissions is the production of nitric acid, which is used in agriculture and mining.

With the aim of a climate-friendly transformation of the nitric acid sector on a global scale, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) initiated the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG) in 2015. The aim of NACAG is to create incentives for the installation of an effective N2O avoidance technology in every nitric acid plant worldwide. To this end, NACAG offers technical and financial support to partner countries.


To facilitate the climate-friendly transformation of the global nitric acid sector, NACAG provides all governments and plant operators with guidance and information on technological and regulatory issues regarding nitrous oxide (N2O) abatement. The initiative also provides financial support for partner countries willing to exploit this cost-effective reduction potential and sustaining the emission abatement after 2023 – for example in the context of their NDCs.

Countries can express their interest in joining NACAG by signing a membership declaration. NACAG, which is operated by GIZ, offers both partner countries and facility operators guidance and advice in matters concerning regulation as well as technical support in the use of available emission reduction technologies.

Milestones and Outlook

Tunisia, Argentina, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cuba, Pakistan, Thailand, Jordan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Colombia and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina have already signed the NACAG Declaration. They thereby express their support for the objectives of the Alliance.

Tunisia, Georgia, Mexico and Zimbabwe have furthermore signed the Declaration of Commitment, thereby committing themselves to a permanent reduction of nitrous oxide emissions from nitric acid production. These are the first countries to receive financial support under NACAG. Furthermore, numerous countries are planning to include the nitric acid sector in their updated NDCs.

An in-depth analysis of NACAG was published in Carbon Mechanisms Review 03-2020, which portrays the initiative in both an article and an interview.

Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG)

Countries: Argentina, Cuba, Columbia, Georgia, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Pakisten, Thailand, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zimbabwe

Role of BMU: BMU-financed

Lifecycle: 2015 - 2022

Implementation: Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Other Organisations Involved:  Ministries and operators of nitric acid plants in the partner countries

Further Information:  

Contact: Enrico Rubertus, project coordinator, NACAG-Secretariat,

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