The National Climate Protection Initiative

The importance of climate protection has become increasingly significant for our society in recent years. The implementation of climate protection measures can be particularly successful if they are supported by the public sector. The German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) has set itself the goal of sustainably promoting climate protection at both national and international level. For this reason, the BMU initiated the National Climate Protection Initiative (NKI) in 2008, which, along with the International Climate Protection Initiative, is part of the BMU’s overarching climate protection initiative. The initiative is intended to contribute to the goal of making the Federal Republic of Germany climate-neutral by 2050.

The task of the NKI is to promote potential for greenhouse gas reduction through appropriate climate protection measures. As essential parts, energy efficiency is to be increased, climate-friendly mobility concepts implemented and renewable energies expanded. Depending on the subsidy program, the subsidies can be claimed by municipalities, social and cultural institutions, consumers and the business community. Thus, its task is to design the respective funding programs in such a way that the primary goal, efficient climate protection, is achieved.

In total, the initiative supported more than 35,500 projects with a funding volume of 1.23 billion euros by the end of 2020. In total, this mobilized an additional 3.9 billion euros. With the help of these funds, around 13.9 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalents were saved.



The individual support programs

Currently, you can apply for funding from seven grant programs. The exact program content for the respective projects can be found atörderung. If you are also interested in information about past funding programs, you can find them at the link as well.

  • The current grant programs are as follows:
  • Call for funding for innovative climate protection projects (until 15.10.2021*)
  • Municipal Directive (until 31.12.2022*)
  • Call for funding for municipal climate protection model projects (until 31.12.2022*)
  • Climate protection through cycling (until 31.10.2023*)
  • Refrigeration and air conditioning directive (until 31.12.2023*)
  • E-load bicycle directive (until 29.04.2024*)
  • Micro deposit policy (until 30.06.2024*)

*the dates mentioned refer to the respective program runtime

Climate protection through cycling in detail

The emission-free use of bicycles can efficiently advance climate protection. The BMU has also recognized this and therefore wants to promote cycling. The “Climate Protection through Cycling” program from the list above serves as a detailed example of a funding program. In addition to this program, the “E-Lastenfahrrad-Richtlinie” additionally promotes the use of bicycles.

The funding program is designed to make bicycling more attractive for everyday and recreational use, as well as for use as a delivery and transportation mode. In particular, the provision of suitable infrastructure is essential for the success of this project. Safe and passable bike lanes, wide availability of parking and loading spaces, and many other innovative solutions to promote cycling are needed. This is precisely where the funding program can come in and enable you as a municipality, company or educational institution to implement your project idea. Firstly, it is important that their project clearly contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Second, it must be a first-time application and a pilot implementation of integrated planned measures. This means that various individual measures must be merged into a bundle of measures, and only then will they be funded. In addition, the exemplary character of their project must be recognizable.

What might these respective measures look like, for example? Bicycle parking systems can be used to efficiently utilize space capacities. The BMU also mentions the expansion of bicycle axes, parking facilities and repair stations as further examples. It is important that the measures are not taken at the expense of pedestrian traffic or local public transport. Also, amenity and recreation areas, as well as tree cover, may not be reduced or diminished.

Attractive funding conditions in 2021

Corona encumbrances also offer one-time terms through December 31, 2021. The grant percentage can increase up to 80% depending on the project. Financially weak municipalities can even receive up to 100% in funding.

Here you get support

As you already notice, the requirements of the promotion are complex. The selection and utilization of a suitable funding program for you as a consumer, municipality, company or educational institution, as well as the subsequent concrete implementation of your project, is associated with various challenges. Depending on the funding program, you may need to submit project outlines and submit a funding application, among other things. Fortunately, a wide range of consulting services from the funding partners are available to you in this regard. Initial information on the individual funding opportunities is available from the Service and Competence Center for Municipal Climate Protection. Once you have decided on a funding program, you can find help with application advice and support from Projektträger Jülich ( If you specifically need advice on subsidies for refrigeration air conditioning systems or e-bikes, the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control is your contact ( Furthermore, regular events are offered around the application process. You can obtain these, as well as more detailed information on consulting, at