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International Climate Fund (ICF)

The government has set up the International Climate Fund (ICF) to provide £3.87 billion between April 2011 and March 2016 to help the world’s poorest adapt to climate change and promote cleaner, greener growth.

Video introducing the International Climate Fund

We work in partnership with developing countries to:

  • reduce carbon emissions through promoting low carbon development
  • help poor people adapt to the effects of climate change
  • reduce deforestation

The ICF’s strategic objectives are listed in the ICF Implementation Plan technical paper.

Read more about the ICF

Funding the ICF

Management of the ICF is split between 3 government departments:

  • Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) – gives £1.329 billion to the ICF
  • Department for International Development (DFID) – gives £2.4 billion to the ICF
  • Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) – gives £140 million to the ICF

As Official Development Assistance, the ICF must comply with the eligibility criteria determined by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Funding for climate adaptation is for poor and vulnerable countries, including the least-developed countries, small island states and Africa. Funding for climate mitigation and forestry is for regions that have opportunities for reducing emissions in ways that can also reduce poverty and promote sustainable development (forestry funding will also aim to deliver biodiversity and/or ecosystem benefits). It is usually given to low-income countries, the least-developed countries and some middle-income countries.

The ICF contributed to meeting our commitment to provide £1.5 billion in Fast Start finance for climate change from 2010 to 2012.

Read the Fast Start Climate Change Finance brochure.

The Capital Markets Climate Initiative (CMCI) Innovation Platform provides a forum where specific ICF proposals that involve working with the private sector finance can be discussed with the expert CMCI participants.

How ICF funding works

The International Climate Fund (ICF) is a cross-departmental fund, managed by DFID, DECC and Defra. It is designed to support international poverty reduction by promoting growth and resilience through good development that makes it easier for people to respond to climate changes and shocks. It also helps governments avoid long term lock-in to high carbon investments, as well as tackling deforestation.

There is no direct route through which an organisation outside of the UK Government can independently develop a project to be considered for ICF funding. Proposals come forward through DFID country offices or central departments as well as from DECC and Defra. Often the delivery partners of individual projects include the private sector, civil society organisations and academic institutions but the proposal has to be sponsored and managed by one of the three UK Government Departments.

Monitoring and evaluation of ICF programmes

Monitoring and evaluation systems for ICF spend are aligned across the participating government departments. These use a set of high-level indicators to measure impact and value for money. Examples of indicators used to monitor the results of the scheme are outlined in the ICF implementation plan.

We expect the Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) will independently evaluate impact and value for money in the ICF in 2013.

Case studies

International Climate Fund (ICF) case studies

All DFID projects can also be found on their Development Tracker.

DECC and DFID are signatories of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) and regularly update and publish the data on projects the ICF supports.


This study was prepared for DFID and DECC spending departments to inform future options for the delivery of the international climate fund (ICF). The report analyses the key gaps in the international climate finance architecture, assesses the institutional capacities required to deliver climate finance and suggests three potential options to address these gaps.