International Climate Initiative (IKI)


Organizational profile: 

The International Climate Initiative (IKI) is an important part of the German government's international climate finance commitment. Since 2022 the IKI is implemented by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in close cooperation with the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Federal Foreign Office (AA). Through the IKI, the ministries jointly support approaches in developing and emerging countries to implement and ambitiously develop the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) anchored in the Paris Agreement. This includes measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and to conserve and rebuild natural carbon sinks, taking into account environmental, economic and social concerns. The IKI also supports its partner countries in achieving the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The three ministries jointly agree on the basic IKI framework. This includes the instruments that help ensure and verify the values and responsibilities of the IKI, the various funding calls and external communication.

The activities from IKI projects range, for example, from advising policy makers on capacity building and technology partnerships to risk hedging through innovative financial instruments. It also includes studies, project preparation advice for infrastructure development, and investment instruments for climate change mitigation or biodiversity conservation. 

The IKI finances projects run by organisations that implement measures together with developing, emerging and transitional countries within the four IKI funding areas:

  • Mitigating greenhouse gas emissions
  • Adapting to the impacts of climate change
  • Conserving natural carbon sinks with a focus on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+)
  • Conserving biological diversity

Many projects normally involve more than one funding area.

Financing Instrument: Grants

Project scale: 

IKI supports through two main funding pillars: the thematic and the country-specific selection procedures for large scale projects and the IKI Small and Medium Grants as funding mechanism for small-scale projects. Both procedures use idea competitions to select innovative projects. 

  • Thematic calls: EUR 5 to 20 million
  • Country calls: EUR 12 to 15 million
  • Medium grants: EUR 300,000 to 800,000
  • Small grants: EUR 60,000 to 200,000

Recipient countries regions/country groups: Global, ODA eligible countries

IKI works particularly closely with Brazil, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine and Vietnam. In most countries, cooperation takes the form of larger, particularly bilateral project portfolios.

Eligibility Criteria: 

The following organisations are eligible for funding under the different calls:

  • non-governmental organisations;
  • commercial enterprises;
  • universities and research institutions from Germany and abroad;
  • implementing organisations in the Federal Republic of Germany;
  • institutions in cooperation countries (including national implementing organisations accredited at international or multilateral organisations), and
  • international intergovernmental organisations and institutions, such as development banks or United Nations organisations and programmes.
  • Governments in cooperation countries are not eligible to apply for IKI funding.

Specific eligibility criteria for each of the selection procedures are available on the website:  

Application guidelines:

The IKI thematic and country calls, as well as the IKI Medium Grants follow a two-stage process. In the first stage, project outlines are submitted. After positive assessment, comprehensive project proposals are elaborated in the second stage of the procedure.
Under the IKI Small Grants, projects in the International Calls component are identified through an annual single-stage selection procedure. With the Funding Institutions component, national and regional institutions receive technical and financial support to be able to carry out the calls for proposals or they receive funds for smaller projects and measures at the local level.

The IKI Thematic, Medium and Small Grants follow an annual cycle, whereas Country calls are operate on an ad hoc basis, following bilateral coordination with the priority country.

Last updated: 29 August 2023

Publication Date
Wednesday, 10 March 2021
Applicable location
Biodiversity conservation
Climate change
Forest conservation and management
Sustainable land use
Forest landscape restoration
Financing opportunities