International Climate Initiative (IKI)
The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is the most important instrument utilised by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) to support international climate action and biodiversity. With the IKI, the BMU supports solution strategies in developing and emerging countries that seek to achieve sustainable change. Support is targeted precisely to the areas where needs and aspirations are the highest. IKI assists its partner countries to implement the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that lie at the heart of the Paris Agreement and to take an ambitious approach to their future development. Such development includes measures for adaptation to the impacts of climate change and for improving resilience to the unavoidable consequences. In relation to biodiversity, IKI supports partner countries in their efforts to achieve the targets agreed in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) with the aim of countering and reversing the dramatic losses suffered by natural habitats all over the planet. To obtain IKI funding, proposed projects must be based in countries on a list prepared by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). To date, IKI has approved funding for more than 750 climate and biodiversity projects in over 60 countries worldwide, with a total funding volume of 4.5 billion euros (2008–2020).
Four funding areas
The IKI finances projects run by organisations that implement measures together with developing, emerging and transitional countries within the four IKI funding areas:
- Mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions
- Adaptation to the impacts of climate change
- Conservation of natural carbon sinks such as forests or peatlands, and Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+)
- Conservation of biological diversity
Many projects normally involve more than one funding area. The list of measures addressed by IKI projects includes advising policymakers, capacity building, technology partnerships and innovative financing mechanisms. Funding is also available for reports and position papers as well as investment vehicles for climate action and biodiversity conservation.
Topic-driven financing and bilateral cooperation
The IKI uses a two-pronged strategy to support its partner countries. On the one hand, this involves ideas competitions with a thematic focus: these include large-volume thematic selection procedures (thematic calls) as well as two small-scale project programmes, namely IKI Small Grants and IKI Medium Grants. All three types of ideas competition utilise a call-for-proposals model for funding priorities that are set each year with no focus on individual countries. Based on their expertise and experience, implementing organisations propose project activities in countries that are a good match for the funding priorities.
On the other hand, the IKI also works bilaterally in key areas with 15 priority countries. Part of this cooperation involves the country-specific, large-volume selection procedures (country calls). Working in close consultation with the partner governments, ideas competition is again used here to select projects for two specific and urgent thematic fields. In addition, a country-specific IKI ‘interface project’ also operates in most of these priority countries, working on key topics such as climate change mitigation, adaptation or biodiversity conservation. These interface projects are managed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The projects maintain an office in the respective priority country, work closely with German embassies and help to improve Germany’s cooperation with the partner country in the field of policymaking. Each interface project also facilitates networking of all the local IKI projects in the country run by different implementing organisations in order to maximise synergistic benefits between projects. The current 15 priority countries that the IKI works with are: Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Viet Nam.
With the exception of IKI Small Grants, ideas competitions are organised into two stages. A shortlist of projects is compiled from all the project outlines submitted. The shortlisted applicants are requested to prepare a detailed project proposal. This proposal is then used as the basis for the final funding decision. Two key features of IKI set it apart from conventional approaches to development cooperation. One is the competitive model for the funding programme and the other is the inclusion of NGOs as implementing organisations. None of IKI funds flow to government institutions in partner countries.
Topic-related advice and assistance, programme management and project evaluation work are supported by the IKI Secretariat, which forms part of the federally owned Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbH.
The International Climate Initiative (IKI) in a nutshell (subtitled)