Germany has long been one of the largest donors of financing for climate protection. Nonetheless, like almost all other OECD countries, Germany is far behind the multinational commitment made at the beginning of the 1970s to provide 0.7 percent of its gross national income for official development assistance.
In 2010, the Special Energy and Climate Fund was created along with the National and International Climate Protection Initiatives (now known as Climate Initiatives). They mainly get funding from the trading of emissions certificates to promote actions that mitigate climate change, such as efficient cooling systems, small cogeneration units, energy audits for low-income households, consultation networks for small businesses, and, in the future, highly efficient industrial technologies and production processes – to name just a few examples.
The International Climate Initiative (ICI) finances pioneering projects and advisory services outside Germany. Since its beginning until spring 2016, some 500 projects were funded, totaling some 1.7 billion euros. The ICI focuses on climate policy, energy efficiency, renewables, adaptation to climate change, and reducing deforestation and loss of biodiversity. According to the official website, priority is given to "activities that support creating an international climate protection architecture, to transparency, and to innovative and transferable solutions that have an impact beyond the individual project." Each year, multipliable projects in developing, newly industrializing, and transition countries are selected to receive support.
In addition to the ICI, the National Climate Initiative funds climate protection projects in different areas within Germany, for example municipalities, education, and companies. Until the beginning of 2015, some 19,000 projects had been funded with more than 500 million euros.