International Climate Fund (ICF)

Adaptation, Mitigation, REDD+
Method of Support
Eligible Countries
Broad eligibility: funding for adaptation is for poor and vulnerable countries, including least developed countries, small island states and Africa; funding for mitigation may include some middle-income countries
Funds Pledged
USD 6,002 million
Funds Received
USD 1,318 million
Funds Approved
USD 1,789 million
Source: Climate Funds Update – the latest information on climate funds. “Status of the funds table.” (As of Oct 2016)
TIPS by USAID Adapt Asia-Pacific

Make contact with your local DFID country office and/or representative and discuss with them your priority climate change projects.

The International Climate Fund (ICF) was set up by the United Kingdom (UK) government to provide GBP 3.87 billion (over USD 6 billion) between April 2011 and March 2016 to help developing countries tackle climate change and reduce poverty. The ICF supports activities that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by promoting growth and resilience through good development. It also helps governments avoid long-term lock-in to high carbon investments, as well as tackle deforestation. ICF is managed by three UK government agencies: the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC); the Department for International Development (DFID); and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).
Target area
The ICF aims for a balanced allocation of funding between adaptation (50%), low-carbon development (30%) and forestry (20%). For adaptation, the ICF supports activities in agriculture, disaster risk reduction, water resource management, infrastructure and urban investments, coastal zone and ecosystems management, social protection, and health systems. The ICF finances projects that show how low-carbon, climate-resilient growth is not only feasible, but desirable; support global climate change negotiations; and recognize that climate change offers new opportunities for private sector partnerships, innovation, and sustainable development.
How to access the fund
There is no direct route through which an organization outside of the UK Government can independently develop a project to be considered for ICF funding. Proposals come regularly through DFID country offices or central departments, as well as from DECC and Defra. Often the delivery partners of individual projects include private sector entities, civil society organizations and academic institutions, but the proposal has to be sponsored and managed by one of the three UK government departments.
Approval process

The ICF funds are usually channeled through global multilaterally administered programs rather than towards specific country initiatives. The ICF Board – consisting of representatives from DFID, DECC and Defra – makes spending decisions based on:

  1. Consistency with OECD’s guidelines for official development assistance;
  2. Consistency with UK commitments on aid effectiveness (under the Paris Declaration);
  3. Project results driven both in terms of poverty reduction and climate impacts;
  4. Open and transparent project performance;
  5. Choice of appropriate aid instruments to maximize value for money and impact; and
  6. Appropriate enabling environment (i.e. investing in countries with conducive political and policy settings for taking climate action).