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 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 framework for an ambitious climate policy in the European Union (EU) was created at the latest with the European contribution to the international Paris Agreement. The EU and its Member States are committed to a binding target of an at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gases emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. By 2030 the share of renewable energies in total energy consumption is set to rise to at least 27%. In addition, an indicative target was set for energy efficiency in the EU requiring a reduction of 27% in energy consumption compared to the expected trend. The energy efficiency target is to be revisited before 2020 with a view to raising it to 30%. This target architecture is the basis for the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) which the EU submitted to the international process in advance of the Paris Agreement.
The European Union now faces the clear expectation that it will implement the EU 2030 Climate and Energy Package in an ambitious and robust manner and will establish coherence between the European climate policy and decisions from Paris.
The EU ranks as one of the worldwide pioneers in climate action. It is important to maintain this pioneering role by decisively implementing the climate goals. Implementation and joint further development of climate policy continue to be a challenge for all EU member states, even if they differ widely in their initial situation.
Dialogue, reciprocal learning from good examples, awareness raising and knowledge transfer, strengthening climate policy capacity in EU member states, a mesh of numerous cooperative arrangements in the form of networks between state, municipal, civil society, economic and education policy actors within the EU are important requirements for getting closer to the goal of a greenhouse gas neutral EU in the long term.
The issue of climate protection has great potential for Europe. Climate protection is not only ecologically essential, but can help Europe as a location for industry and European technological leadership by promoting innovation, opening up new markets, attracting investment and ultimately creating jobs. Climate protection also has many positive side effects, e.g., energy cost savings for households and companies, improved air quality for cities, including the associated improvement in the health of inhabitants. Not least, the European pioneering role in climate protection is an important positive point of identification with the EU, particularly for young citizens.
Objectives and target groups
Specifically, projects supported within the EUKI need to contribute to the following objectives:
Strengthening knowledge and awareness raising in order to encourage climate protection and the ecological, social and economic opportunities connected with climate action
Fostering the exchange of good practices, transfer of knowledge and experience and building of networks in order to support transformative processes and favorable framework conditions for mitigation of 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
Target groups of individual bilateral and multilateral measures are governments, municipalities, civil society, consumers and businesses. The primary focus will be on collaborating with Central, Eastern and Southern EU member states.
The EUKI is based on two pillars: The first pillar consists of BMU tenders along main policy priorities. The second pillar consists of financing of projects selected based on a competition for project ideas submitted by non-profit organisations.
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 protection are central thematic area for the EUKI.
In the Call for Ideas of 2017 and 2018, 150 project proposals were handed in. The European Climate Initiative chose 45 of them for future funding. Together with direct funding from BMU, EUKI supports 53 projects in the European Union, at the moment. 37 project leaders and 93 implementation partners are active in 26 EU countries.
European Climate Initiative (EUKI) – Project Financing Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH