The Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) established the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) to cooperate even closer in the development and implementation of the ambitious EU climate policy. Through EUKI, climate actors can learn from each other; the initiative supports inner-European dialogue, the exchange of good practice, awareness raising, and knowledge transfer.
The European contribution to the Paris Climate Agreement set the framework for an ambitious climate policy in the European Union (EU). Furthermore, at the end of 2019, the European Union also decided to become climate-neutral by 2050. Greenhouse gas emissions are to be reduced by 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990. These are ambitious goals. To successfully shape the required transformation across borders and sectors everyone’s contribution is needed, from the national level via the regions to the municipalities and civil society.
With the European Green Deal and the Next Generation EU programme, the EU has established a strategic vision and an investment plan to facilitate the transition to a climate-neutral EU and to support its Member States in the transformation process.
EUKI finances and connects climate action projects in Europe to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote cross-border cooperation. The initiative enables intensive dialogue as well as the exchange of knowledge and experience in the European Union in orderto jointly promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement. EUKI supports the transition towards climate-neutral economies and societies in Europe.
Europe has recognised the great opportunities offered by climate action. Climate action is not only essential from an ecological point of view but also promotes Europe as an industrial base and fosters European technological leadership: climate action boosts innovation, it opens up new markets, attracts investments and ultimately creates jobs. Furthermore, climate action has many positive side effects, such energy-cost savings by households and companies or better urban air quality, which in turn leads to citizens enjoying a better quality of life. Last but not least, many citizens, especially the young ones, identify with the EU due to the pioneering role that Europe plays in climate action.
Objectives and target groups
The objectives of the European Climate Initiative are as follows:
Building knowledge and awareness of the underlying causes of climate change as well as of the ecological, social and economic opportunities offered by climate action.
Fostering the exchange of good practices, transfer of knowledge and experience and the building of networks to support transformation processes and a favorable framework for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.
Building a bridge to EU programmes through capacity building as well as concept and project development to leverage European funds into innovative and progressive climate action
The target groups of individual bilateral and multilateral measures are governments, municipalities, civil society, consumers and – if permissible under state aid law – businesses. The geographical focus is primarily on collaborations with Central, Eastern and Southern European countries as well as the Baltic states and EU accession countries.
The EUKI is based on two pillars: As part of the annual EU-wide selection procedure, organisations are selected that put forward promising ideas for climate action in Europe. In addition, projects that pursue predefined climate objectives, are commissioned directly by the Federal Environment Ministry.
Thematic areas for bilateral and multilateral EUKI projects are developing climate strategies and implementing these at various levels, exchanges on climate policy instruments, measures and projects in all relevant sectors: energy, industry, transport, private households, commerce, trade and services, waste, agriculture and land use. The EUKI also promotes cross-cutting projects between these sectors, e.g. climate-friendly urban development. Also, educational work and awareness-raising on climate change and climate action are central thematic area for the EUKI.
Climate action in the European Union is a diverse challenge. The European Climate Initiative (EUKI) therefore covers a wide range of sectors. EUKI finances climate action projects pertaining to eight key topics: climate policy; energy; buildings and municipalities; mobility; agriculture, soils and forestry; awareness; climate-aligned finance; and sustainable economy. The figure shows the distribution of the 128 EUKI projects to date. Find a detailed description ot EUKI’s key topics here.
For the purpose of this overview, each project has been assigned to the key topic of the respective project. Some EUKI projects pertain to other topics or interdisciplinary topics.
In our calls for project ideas in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, a total of 435 project outlines was submitted. The EUKI choose 93 of them for funding. In conjunction with direct funding from BMU, a total of 128 projects were selected for funding in the European Union.
In 2020, 171 project outlines were submitted, 32 of which were selected for funding. Including direct funding from BMU, a total of 41 projects were financed in 2020. Well over 240 implementing and partner organisations are currently working in 25 EU countries and in 4 countries in the Western Balkans. There are also project activities in Switzerland, Monaco and Liechtenstein.
European Climate Initiative (EUKI) – Project Financing Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH