IKI as an integral part of the international climate and species protection policy

The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is one of the most important instruments of the Federal German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) for the international financing of climate protection and biodiversity. The IKI supported over 750 climate and biodiversity projects in more than 60 countries between 2008 and 2020, through financing climate protection and biodiversity conservation in developing, emerging and transition countries. The total funding volume for this period amounted to over EUR 4.5 billion.

The IKI operates within the framework of various international agreements. An overview of the key frameworks include:

Svnja Schulze and Jochen Flasbarth
Federal Environment Minister Svenja Schulze and State Secretary for the Environment Jochen Flasbarth at the final negotiations at the World Climate Conference in Glasgow. Photo: BMU/Sascha Hilgers

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental agreement aimed at slowing down man-made global warming and mitigating its consequences. The UNFCCC was established in 1992 at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro and entered into force two years later. With 195 countries, almost all of the countries in the world have since ratified the UNFCCC.

Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) & Aichi Targets

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most comprehensive, binding international agreement regarding nature conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The number of participating nations stands at over 190. The CBD was launched in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and entered into force at the end of 1993. The signatories have set themselves the goal of protecting and preserving the diversity of life on earth, organising its sustainable use in such a way that as many people as possible can earn their livelihoods from it, both today and in the future.

In 2010, the “Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020” was adopted in Nagoya in the Japanese province of Aichi. The plan consists of five strategic goals specified by 20 concrete action targets, the “Aichi targets”.

Paris Climate Protection Agreement (Paris Agreement) & Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)

At the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015 (UNFCCC COP 21), a global, legally binding climate protection agreement was adopted for the first time and signed by over 190 countries. The action plan aims to limit global warming to below 2°C. The Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the signatories are the core of the Paris Agreement. They contain the national emission reduction targets up to the year 2030, which should be communicated internationally and regularly adjusted.

New Urban Agenda (UN Habitat)

The New Urban Agenda (NUA) was adopted in October 2016 at the third UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (Habitat III) in Quito, Ecuador. The directive aims to achieve sustainable urban development.

2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In 2015, the 2030 Agenda created the foundation for combining economic progress with social justice and ecological boundaries over 15 years. The Agenda’s core elements are the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs), which address all three dimensions of sustainability, namely the social, environmental and economic aspects.

Negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris
Negotiations at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris. Photo: BMU/Sascha Hilgers

Montreal Protocol (UNEP)

The Montreal Protocol, a follow-up agreement to the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, entered into force in January 1989. Developments are discussed at the annual UN conferences and the Protocol is regularly expanded to include new ozone-depleting substance groups.



Germany also supports the implementation of several voluntary initiatives through the IKI. Some examples include:


NDC Partnership (NDC-P)

The German and Moroccan governments have initiated the global “NDC Partnership” with the aim of promoting the implementation of NDCs in emerging and developing countries to meet the development goals of the 2030 Agenda. The Partnership was founded at the end of 2016 at the UNFCCC COP 22 in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Bonn Challenge

The Bonn Challenge is a comprehensive initiative for global reforestation. Founded in Bonn, Germany in September 2011, it aims to restore 150 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by 2020 and at least 350 million hectares by 2030.

New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF)

The NYDF was launched at the UN Climate Summit in 2014. It is a voluntary and non-binding declaration to counteract global forest loss with ten ambitious goals. By September 2019, the list of supporters had grown to over 200, including national and sub-national governments, multinational corporations, indigenous communities and non-governmental organisations.