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Strategic Development of the National Climate Initiative


Strategic Development of the National Climate Initiative


Since 2008, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety has financed the National Climate Initiative (NKI in German), in order to achieve its national target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2050. In order to make optimal use of the funds, it is necessary to include technological innovation and societal processes in funding initiatives. This necessitates new approaches on many levels, involving many stakeholders and aspects of daily life. Researchers from Ecologic Institute, Arepo Consult, Oeko-Institut, and the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IFEU) supported the implementation and further development of the National Climate Initiative project.

In the long term, the funding has to systematically focus on the complete decarbonization of our life.

To this end it is necessary that the model "100% climate protection" infiltrates as many fields of activity as possible. The spectrum of activity should include innovation – with the technologies themselves to the structure of society and project approaches – as well as the infiltration of the everyday life. In the long run, trendsetting and climate compatible technologies, techniques and lifestyles have to be tested and introduced.

These target dimensions have to be translated into concrete funding schemes. In this project the strategic development of the climate protection initiative was realized on this basis.

Moreover, the already envisaged, additional funding foci needed to be operationalised. A scientific side programme, on the basis of a systematic monitoring, ensured that misguided developments are avoided and that the activities can be steered in an optimal way.

The project contains three main work packages:

  1. Identification of climate mitigation potential for new funding programmes (work package 1).
  2. Concrete accompaniment and monitoring of existing and new programmes financed by the NKI (work package 2), particularly:
    •    Further developing the German Municipal Directive for Climate Protection
    •    Designing new funding schemes including monitoring concepts
      •       100% climate protection industrial parks
      •       100% climate protection in retail
      •       100% climate protection-products
      •       Support for innovations
      •       Developing two new, additional funding schemes
    •    Accompanying the funding schemes for industrial parks, retail and support of innovation
  3. Building networks in the public sector centered on the NKI (work package 3), in particular
    •    setting up a Council for the National Climate Mitigation Initiative,
    •    an exchange between the federal and state governments,
    •    conferences, and
    •    talks to discuss ad-hoc issues that emerge during the implementation.

Ecologic Institute led the project as a whole as well as the guidance for the communities that have developed carbon neutrality plans (Masterplan in German), the support for the council, and the planning and execution of all project-related events.


Doris Knoblauch
Co-Coordinator Plastics
Coordinator Urban & Spatial Governance
Senior Fellow

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Project ID
Adaptation, Environment, climate change, climate mitigation, National Climate Mitigation Initiative, local climate protection