More ambition at all levels

In 2021, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) focussed on supporting the definition, development and implementation of more ambitious targets for the mitigation of climate change and the conservation of biological diversity.

Solar engineers in front of solar panels

In the run-up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of Parties in Glasgow (COP26), many countries and initiatives announced their commitment to more ambitious targets, both in terms of their long-term objectives and decarbonisation goals as well as their nationally determined contributions (NDCs). As much as this demonstrates that, the Paris Agreement mechanism for raising ambition levels is working as intended, to achieve the 1.5° target, however, more countries must declare ambitious decarbonisation targets and define a clear path with consistent milestones along the way.

Ambitious revisions to national climate targets

All parties to the Paris Agreement were obliged to update their nationally determined contributions before the COP26 event. While the vast majority of countries fulfilled this requirement and increased their national climate change mitigation commitments, few went further than expected. Through more than 20 projects, the IKI has supported around 40 countries in developing ambitious but realistic targets and implementation plans. In addition, the IKI participated in two multi-donor initiatives that ensured the needed support for the revision and update of NDCs to all Paris Agreement signatory countries. Overall, 120 countries are being supported by the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP) from the NDC Partnership and the Climate Promise from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Thanks to its involvement in the NDC Partnership and the Partnership Action Fund (recently set up in 2021), it is assisting to ensure that all developing and emerging countries worldwide receive long-term access to support services.

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    Support for greener financial systems

    The IKI continues to expand its long-standing and successful cooperation in the NDC Partnership by becoming involved in a new initiative.

Transparency as the backbone of measurable ambition levels

The signatory parties to the Paris Agreement established an Enhanced Transparency Framework (ETF) for reporting on greenhouse gas emissions as well as progress made in the implementation and achievement of the targets specified in the NDCs. This ETF creates trust among Paris Agreement countries while simultaneously helping countries identify their mitigation potential and adjustments necessary to align their investments and policies accordingly. This degree of transparency surrounding the relevant data also sets the stage for further increases to ambition levels. IKI projects help to establish and improve national transparency schemes while strengthening institutional, technical and financial capacity building in IKI partner countries with the aim of fulfilling their ETF reporting requirements. In this context, the IKI supports the Partnership on Transparency in the Paris Agreement (PATPA) and the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT).

NDC implementation in the transport sector

The transport sector has the highest energy consumption in two-fifths of the countries worldwide and the second-highest in most of the other nations. The goals of the Paris Agreement cannot be achieved without significant improvements to ambition levels and the large-scale decarbonisation of this sector. The IKI provides tools for this transition to sustainable transport within its projects. For example, the ‘Tracker of Climate Strategies for Transport’ provides information about targets and climate change mitigation in transport. The tool also provides information about the role of transport in the NDCs and LTSs. In 2021, the IKI funded 21 ongoing projects aimed at accelerating change in the transport sector.

Since 2017, the IKI has supported Transport and Climate Change Week (TCCW) as a key event for debate and partnerships relating to global sustainable transport. TCCW 21, organised as a hybrid event by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV), was attended by more than 1,000 IKI partners, who discussed a wide variety of sustainable transport topics at the meeting.

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    Participation of all interests as a recipe for success

    IKI project using the landscape approach to combine environmental protection and economic development in the partner countries in Africa.

More ambition in adapting to the impacts of climate change

Adaptation to the impacts of climate change is an increasingly important strategy around the world. Extreme weather events such as flooding, hurricanes, droughts and heatwaves often tend to affect those countries and populations who are much less capable of mitigating these disasters. To expand adaptation measures in these countries, donor countries must raise their ambition levels and partner countries must redouble their efforts.

Germany, with the IKI as its funding vehicle, is the leading donor country for the international Adaptation Fund (AF). For least developed countries in particular, the AF is one of the most important financing instruments for climate change adaptation. At COP26, Germany set the pace for future investments by increasing its own contribution by a further 50 million euros.

Since 2013, IKI contributions of 440 million euros have made up more than half of all donor contributions to the fund. IKI funds have also been used to top up the Global Ecosystem-based Adaptation Fund (EbA) with the aim of responding to a major global need for adaptation finance. More than 1,000 applications have been received since setting up the fund in 2019.

Ambitious targets and effective implementation for biodiversity conservation

Waterline with mangroves above and fish under water

Negotiations on the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) and the UN Biodiversity Conference in Kunming have also been pursuing ambitious goals, a continuous increase in ambition levels and effective implementation mechanisms in order to address global biodiversity loss. Germany remains committed to its contributions for conserving biodiversity in order to implement the 2050 vision of ‘Living in Harmony with Nature’. The IKI forms an important part of this process: together with its partner countries, it is now already working towards achieving the GBF targets.. The Framework’s key targets include improving the expansion, networking and management of protected areas to ensure that at least 30 percent of land and sea areas are conserved globally while facilitating the effective management of protected areas by 2030.

The effective and integrated implementation of the ‘One Health’ approach will also address the prevention of pandemics that originate via the transmission of diseases from animals to humans. In this context, the IKI launched the multi-partner Biodiversity for Health and Pandemic Prevention trust fund at the end of 2021, with an initial contribution of 50 million euros.

A key concept in this context is ‘mainstreaming’, meaning the integration of biodiversity targets into sector policy, planning and financial instruments. Equally important is the protection of indigenous populations and collaboration with these groups to ensure the sustainable use and restoration of ecosystems, which the IKI is also addressing through the project ‘Support to indigenous peoples and community conserved areas and territories (ICCAs)’.

National biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) will be key instruments for implementing the future Global Biodiversity Framework. As with NDCs, NBSAPs are to be linked to a review and ambition level improvement mechanism as set out in the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Implementation of all these measures will require closing the global financing gap as well as increasing financial resources for conserving biodiversity and promoting its sustainable use. In 2021, the IKI continued to support efforts made in this field. One example is the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN II), which stands to receive a total donation of 40 million euros over the period from 2018 to 2025.

  • Two people walk across a plantation

    Climate-friendly coffee for reforestation

    In Ethiopia, the IKI is using a sustainable coffee project to support the reforestation of a biosphere reserve while simultaneously improving the…

Synergies between climate action and biodiversity conservation

Climate change and the loss of biodiversity are closely connected: according to the 2019 Global Assessment Report from the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), climate change is one of the five main drivers of biodiversity loss. Conversely, healthy ecosystems sequester large quantities of carbon and are extremely important for adaptation to the impacts of climate change. Synergies between implementation measures must be expanded and utilised to achieve the ambitious targets of climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation as well as adaptation to the impacts of climate change. The IKI therefore uses a flexible approach to its funding areas, acting on multiple topics in parallel and implementing new global priorities at short notice.

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