Sharing experiences – managing innovations

Illustration with four people on a podium holding up a trophy in the shape of a light bulb.

Through its ideas competitions, the IKI always remains innovative. Illustration: BMU/Karsten Andree (smoking weather)

The challenges posed by climate change and the loss of biodiversity are immense. They affect life all over the world. The international community is therefore cooperating to find solutions for the restructuring of its societies. How this can be achieved is shown by this International Climate Initiative (IKI) assessment for the years 2017 to 2019 – three years, which also saw radical changes within IKI.

With the introduction of the “Thematic and Country Calls 2017”, the project management was transferred from the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) to the new IKI Secretariat at the Zukunft - Umwelt - Gesellschaft gGmbH (ZUG). A mammoth task indeed, as more than ten years of experience with programmes was suddenly placed in news hands and new funding structures also had to be established. That was ten years with ten major international competitions, more than 4,000 project outlines and ultimately more than 700 projects that had either already been funded or would be funded by the end of 2019.

IKI has been oriented on international climate policy since its inception. Today, the Paris Agreement and its mechanisms, the agreement on biodiversity and the 2030 Agenda form the solid policy backbone of the funding conditions. In coordination with the partner countries, IKI provides funding for organizations that implement specific measures there. In this way, Germany is helping developing and emerging countries to find new and ambitious paths for their national contributions to achieving global goals. Innovative approaches such as ecosystem-based adaptation to the impacts of climate change combine nature conservation and climate change mitigation for the well-being of people, countries and societies. The aim is to sup- port the transformation of the states in an ecologically ambitious and economically sound manner, and this is helped by especially large IKI projects (such as the NAMA facility), which are also supported by other donor countries.

The global spirit of optimism that is encouraging more and more countries, economic sectors, cities and the civil society to commit to climate change mitigation, climate change adaptation and biodiversity is also reflected in the rapid depletion of IKI funds despite an increase in the funds. For the year 2019, IKI funds were completely used during the year. This also shows the great extent to which IKI is accepted and in demand all over the world, despite its stringent quality requirements. It also illustrates the importance of this precisely targeted German climate and biodiversity financing aspect. How this actually works in practice is shown here by the reports from several IKI projects.