The Climate Initiative Funds 2012, Germany

The Int'l Climate Initiative, Germany

The International Climate Initiative (ICI) of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) has been financing climate projects in developing and newly industrialized countries, as well as countries in transition since 2008. Based on a decision taken by the German parliament (Bundestag), EUR 120 million from the auctioning of emission allowances is available for use by the Initiative annually. By means of this innovative financial mechanism, BMU effectively contributes towards emission reduction and adaptation to climate change. This new form of climate cooperation complements the existing development cooperation work of the German Government.

The ICI is active in three areas: promoting climate-friendly economies, fostering measures to adapt to the effects of climate change and ensuring the conservation and sustainable use of natural carbon reservoirs/ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). When selecting projects, BMU attaches great importance to developing innovative, multipliable and transferable approaches whose results are maintained long after completion of the project. Targeted cooperation with partner countries provides the ICI with an important impetus for an international climate agreement. The ICI also makes a significant contribution towards the international dialogue on creating a climate change financial architecture.

Promoting a climate-friendly economy

In the field of a climate-friendly economy, the goal is to support partner countries in establishing a climate-friendly economic structure that prevents climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions where possible. This support covers areas such as increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energies, reducing environmentally harmful greenhouse gases and investment-related measures, know-how transfer and policy advice in the partner country.

Promoting measures for adaptation to the impacts of climate change

In the field of adaptation to climate change, parts of appropriate national programmes for such adaptation are being implemented in selected partner countries that are especially vulnerable to climate change (on the basis of national or regional strategies, NAPAs). Through an integrated approach several aspects of adaptation can be incorporated, e.g. water resource management, optimal land use / sustainable biomass production (resource management, restoration of damaged areas), preventive health care, disaster prevention and migration management.

Promoting measures for preservation and sustainable use of carbon reservoirs/ Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD)

In the field of natural carbon sinks/ REDD projects for conserving carbon sinks, especially of forests and other ecosystems such as wetlands, are financed. Activities in this field aim to improve synergies between climate protection and biodiversity conservation.


Since ICI was launched in 2008, BMU has initiated 256 projects with funding totalling some 556 million euros. The projects run for up to six years. Additional capital contributed by the agencies implementing the projects and funding from other public and private-sector sources bring the total funding volume for the ICI projects to over 1.35 billion euros.

The projects are carried out by a broad range of entities – the majority by the German Government's major implementing organisations: Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and KfW Entwicklungsbank. BMU also commissions multilateral organisations, such as the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and multilateral development banks, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). About a quarter of the projects are implemented by NGOs, research institutes, foundations and private companies. 

Regional focus

ICI's 256 projects are distributed across partner countries in Asia, Central and Southeast Europe, the Newly Independent States, Central Asia, Central and South America, the Middle East, and Africa. The ICI focuses on the BASIC countries (Brazil, South Africa, India, China) and Russia. The Initiative has worked with these five countries on almost a third of its projects. In addition to bilateral and supra-regional projects, the Initiative supports projects with a global focus. 20 per cent of ICI's total funds are allocated to projects of a global nature.

Focal themes

ICI's work focuses on three areas:

1. Building a climate-friendly economy

2. Adaption to climate change

3. Conservation and sustainable use of natural carbon reservoirs / REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)

Building a climate-friendly economy is currently ICI's priority: about 58 per cent of the projects target measures to reduce emissions, with a clear focus on energy efficiency and renewable energies. Almost 28 per cent of ICI's funding is allocated to projects in the field of carbon reservoirs /REDD+. The regions in question here are South America (Amazon region), Africa (Congo Basin) and Asia (Indonesian rainforest).

Climate change adaptation projects are currently under-represented, with 44 projects under way (14 per cent of the total support volume). They focus on supporting partner countries in developing and implementing national adaptation strategies and increasingly also on ecosystem adaptation. With the exception of Brazil, cooperation with the BASIC countries primarily focuses on projects relating to building a climate-friendly economy. ICI assists partner countries in building an economic structure that largely avoids greenhouse gases emissions. Cooperation with Brazil is predominantly in the field of carbon reservoirs/REDD+.

Selection procedure for projects of the ICI

Outlines for projects beginning in 2012 may be submitted to the Programme Office until 9 January 2012. Project outlines which arrive after the deadline cannot be considered. These project outlines will be assessed as a single batch in 2012. When the evaluation process is completed ICI will request those with promising outlines to submit a formal application for support, for which a special form will be provided.

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