International Climate Initiative from 2017 to 2019

More effective climate risk manangement requires continuous adaptation. Therefore, International Climate Initiative (IKI) has undergone structural development.

IKI was founded in 2008 as one of the first instruments of international climate financing. Right from the outset, the BMU’s funding programme was adapted to the pace of global climate policy. The funding programme was comprehensively re- designed from 2017 to 2019 to enhance IKI’s efficiency. The ideas competition was re-oriented and thematic and country-specific selection procedures introduced. The re-orientation of IKI was completed with the launch of two small project programmes, namely Small Grants and Medium Grants. This enables IKI to operate more flexibly, since it can now support large- and small-scale projects in the four funding areas. All IKI projects must apply IKI Safeguards since 2017, which are environmental and social standards intended to prevent negative impacts caused by IKI projects, and to provide even better protection for people and nature in the partner countries.

World map
Total commitments and expenditures of International Climate Initiative (IKI) for projects from 2017 to 2019: EUR 1.6 billion. An overview by region. (Source: BMU)

Re-alignment of the ideas competition

IKI underwent an important change with the introduction of its thematic and country-specific selection procedures. Before 2017, it was mainly small and medium-sized projects that were supported; however, IKI now focuses on large-volume projects thanks to the two new procedures. The funding amount for the thematic selection procedures amounts to between EUR five to EUR 20 million. In the case of the country-specific selection procedures, projects are supported with amounts between EUR 15 to EUR 35 million.

The ideas competition for the thematic selection process (also known as thematic call) is usually announced once a year. It contains more than ten current priority topics, assigned to the overall goals of IKI and the four funding areas. A project is commissioned for each topic. The thematic selection procedures also reflect developments in international negotiations. Each of the country-specific selection procedures (also known as country calls) supports one IKI partner country. The priorities and the selection of topics are made in close consultation with the individual partner governments. About 50 per cent of the project funds applied for go to local non-governmental organisations, universities, think-tanks and indigenous groups, etc., in the target countries. This not only achieves sustainable benefit and greater acceptance in these countries, but also strengthens their institutions and expands their knowledge and resources on the ground.

However, the implementation of the UNFCCC and the CBD also requires the support of smaller stakeholders in developing and emerging countries and the effective participation of all social groups. To address this, BMU launched two programmes at the end of 2019: IKI Small Grants and IKI Medium Grants that also seek their projects through idea competitions. IKI Small Grants directly support local non-governmental organisations and national funding institutions in developing and emerging countries. The programme aims to fund more than 100 small-scale projects, each receiving up to EUR 100,000 by 2025.

Sharing experiences – managing innovations

IKI annual report 2017 to 2019 for download

Approved budget of International Climate Initiative from 2008 to 2019. Graphic: BMU

IKI Medium Grants are used in developing and emerging countries to support projects that are carried out by German-based civil society organisations together with partner organisations in the target countries. Calls for funding for the programme with different priority themes are published at regular intervals. IKI plans to commission 10 to 15 projects per year. Projects are supported with funding amounting to between EUR 300,000 to EUR 800,000 and a duration of between two to three years. The BMU is providing a total of EUR 30 million over five years for the duration of the programme.

Within its new structure, IKI has so far carried out three thematic selection procedures and ten country- specific selection procedures. The priority topics of the thematic calls included the phasing out of coal, climate financing and the preservation and restoration of peatland ecosystems. The country calls introduced in 2017 were initiated in Argentina, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Colombia, Mexico, the Philippines, Thailand, Ukraine and Vietnam. The first idea competitions for IKI Small Grants and IKI Medium Grants will be completed in 2020. Overall, the total authorised budget increased from EUR 386.82 million in 2017 to EUR 456.82 million in 2019.

Practical examples of project work

These practical examples from the funding areas of the IKI, illustrate the concrete work of the IKI projects in the funding countries. They range from paper made from rice straw in Thailand to migratory bird sanctuaries in Africa.


Header Photo: BMU/Karsten Andree (Rauchwetter)