Nitric Acid Climate Action Group: avoiding nitrous oxide emissions

Project description

Title: Support for the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK)
Countries: Global
Lead executing agency: Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism – Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia – Georgia, Ministry of Climate Change – Pakistan, Ministry of Environment – Jordan, Ministry of Environment – Tunisia, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) – Mexico, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Management – Zimbabwe, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) – Colombia, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development – Argentina*, Ministry of Industry – Indonesia, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) – Thailand, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment (CITMA) – Cuba, Uzhydromet – Uzbekistan, Ministry of Industry and Trade – Vietnam, Ministry of Environment of Peru – Peru
Overall term: 2016 to 2025



Nitric acid is an important raw material in the chemical industry, especially for fertiliser production. The manufacture of nitric acid releases nitrous oxide (N2O) into the atmosphere, a greenhouse gas that depletes ozone and is 265 times more harmful to the climate than carbon dioxide (CO2). Businesses have no incentive to reduce nitrous oxide emissions. And yet, N2O abatement is relatively inexpensive, costing between EUR 1 to EUR 3 per tonne of CO2 equivalent saved.

Moreover, the potential for climate change mitigation in this industry is huge. Worldwide, around 1.8 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent could be saved in the next ten years. This would make an important contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement climate targets.

Against this background, Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU)  launched the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group (NACAG). The goal of the NACAG is to create greater incentives for the permanent reduction of nitrous oxide emissions in the nitric acid industry.


Partner countries implement measures to permanently avoid nitrous oxide emissions during the production of nitric acid.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting the BMU in implementing the Nitric Acid Climate Action Group.

The NACAG supports financial, technical and policy measures to reduce emissions. For example, the initiative advises on institutional framework conditions in partner countries and promotes the use of climate protection technology.

In return, the partner countries undertake to permanently and independently reduce the nitrous oxide emissions from the nitric acid industry from 2024 onwards. For this purpose, NACAG finances the installation and operation of climate protection technology in authorised production plants and supports partner countries, for example in the long-term regulation of these emissions. The project also helps in making the partner countries’ nationally determined contributions more ambitious.

Last updated: July 2021

Additional information