G-STIC CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

Close to €5 million subsidies for rolling out climate-impact solutions in developing countries

To support developing countries in the fight against climate change, the Government of Flanders launches the G-STIC Climate Action Programme in 2021, a call for proposals in the field of international climate finance. This programme provides €4,849,361 in subsidies for projects which implement and upscale climate solutions in developing countries. The goal is to enable these countries to follow low-carbon development paths and to make their communities more resilient to the impact of climate change.

As a means of assisting developing countries’ action towards achieving their climate-related goals, the G-STIC Climate Action Programme contributes to the aims of international climate finance. The programme strengthens the implementation of developing countries' climate policies, strategies, regulations, action plans and actions for both adaptation and mitigation to help achieve the Paris Agreement goals.

Project eligibility: primary objectives

In order to be eligible for financial support from the G-STIC Climate Action Programme, projects must be aimed at supporting actions in developing countries which strive to develop or implement measures to adapt to the effects of climate change (adaptation) and/or limit climate change by addressing the causes (mitigation), in line with the OECD DAC Rio Markers for Climate Handbook. The climate change objective (adaptation and/or mitigation) must be explicitly stated as primary when justifying the project’s intended activities.

Adaptation

Projects that aim at reducing the vulnerability of human or natural systems to both existing and expected climate change impacts by preserving or strengthening resilience through increased ability to adapt to shocks and variability, better absorption of the stresses caused by climate change and/or limiting exposure to it.

Mitigation

Projects that contribute to stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere, to a level that avoids dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system by promoting efforts to either reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions or enhance greenhouse gas storage.

Project themes

Projects should focus on one or more of the following six themes which have a large impact on climate-related matters.

Energy

Energy >

Water & Sanitation

Water & Sanitation >

Environmental Policy

Environmental Policy >

Biodiversity

Biodiversity >

Education & Research

Education & Research >

Agriculture

Agriculture >

Energy

Energy

Energy generation and use account for a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. This is therefore an area with important opportunities for improvement.  Limiting emissions, improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of energy from renewables are all crucial in the fight against climate change.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies. Each of these must be demonstrably effective for reducing emissions or mitigating climate change impact, with this as the primary purpose, in a way which would not happen otherwise:

  • Reforming regulatory policy to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy;
  • Improving the regulatory body’s capacity and regulatory options to deal with the consequences of climate change;
  • Promoting energy saving and demand-side efficiency. E.g., through actions such as retrofitting, co-generation or transition to equipment that operates on more climate-friendly fuel sources;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions via project development, or the creation of a favourable climate for developing and disseminating know-how and technologies that extend renewable energy production;
  • Reducing emissions through reforming energy transmission and distribution. E.g., by adapting electricity grids to improve efficiency and incorporate more renewable energy sources, or creating new “off-grid” systems based on renewable sources.

Water & Sanitation

Water & Sanitation

Climate change is causing a heavy decline in water resources, both at the surface and underground. This, combined with increased incidences of flooding, means there is a significant risk to water supply, quality and the ability to manage it. These risks are regionally bound, with developing countries most badly affected.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Reducing energy consumption within the water supply infrastructure;
  • Resolving fluctuations in the supply of or access to water. E.g., by climate-proofing the water infrastructure to increase its resilience to stress caused by drought and floods;
  • Reducing energy consumption within sanitation infrastructure, or preventing methane emissions;
  • Protecting waste-water systems, water sources and human health through action related to ground and surface water levels, in particular through waste-water recycling;
  • Significantly contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting modern waste-to-energy systems with waste collection/recycling and recovery/re-use of methane;
  • Waste management systems which improve protection of water sources or fragile ecosystems and increase resilience to climate change impacts;
  • Protection and/or rehabilitation of water bodies, swamps and wetlands as CO2 storage areas;
  • Protecting water reserves, to build resistance to water shortages and large fluctuations in water availability.

Environmental Policy

Environmental policy

Government policies, legislation and the means to implement them are pivotal to facilitating climate-related action. Enabling institutional reforms and strengthening climate-related policy aspects, such as strategies and plans at both national or regional level, is crucial.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Preparing national inventories of greenhouse gases;
  • Developing policies and/or implementation instruments (such as national plans) for mitigating climate change and carrying out related economic analysis;
  • Analyses and research into needs related to climate technology;
  • Developing and implementing adaptation strategies at national level, or as part of decentralisation programmes;
  • Supporting adaptation of national and international policies, plans and programmes;
  • Reinforcing regulations and legislation for measures that promote adaptation;
  • Providing budgetary support to a national or local government for adaptation and/or implementation of climate-related policies.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is integral to the climate change jigsaw. It provides mechanisms for mitigating climate change impacts, such as wetlands which form natural flood barriers and plant life that improves the quality of local water and urban air. Meanwhile, marine and terrestrial ecosystems aid CO2 absorption. Conversely, climate change itself is contributing to the decline of biodiversity.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Maintaining CO2 storage capacity within the vegetation layer (especially forests) and soil (especially wetlands);
  • Protecting and promoting carbon sinks through sustainable management and conservation of oceans and coastal areas, wetlands, wilderness areas and other water ecosystems;
  • Climate-resistant conservation measures that allow species to adapt to climate change (e.g. protected eco-corridors for migration);
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation (e.g. restoring and managing water sources to improve continuity of drinking water supply in areas prone to drought).

Education & Research

Education & Research

Education & research is essential for long-term development and implementation of all the other project themes covered by the G-STIC Climate Action Programme. Activities that provide related training, raise awareness and improve public participation and access to information in these areas (Energy, Water & Sanitation, Environmental policy, Biodiversity and Agriculture) are therefore also eligible to apply for subsidies.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Research relating to mitigating and monitoring climate change, including oceanographic and atmospheric projects;
  • Research relating to adaptation to climate change, including meteorological and hydrological observation and prediction, impact and vulnerability studies;
  • Education, training and awareness campaigns relating to climate change, its causes and impacts and the importance of adaptation and mitigation in the battle against it;
  • Off-grid energy access for schools, sustainable school buildings (e.g. with natural cooling systems);
  • Integration of climate-related education in school curricula.

Agriculture

Agriculture

Agriculture is faced with double-edged sword, as it suffers the consequences of climate change as well as contributes to climate change. It is important to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by agriculture and adapt food production to cope with the impact of climate change.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Supporting agricultural methods which reduce or avoid production of carbon or other greenhouse gas emissions, or increase the storage of greenhouse gases. (e.g. use of energy-efficient machinery);
  • Supporting agricultural methods with higher ability to withstand climate change through diversification of production, cultivation of climate-resistant crops (able to handle heat and drought) or promotion of water-efficient irrigation techniques;
  • Supporting sustainable agricultural practices which enable vulnerable areas to adapt to climate change and sustainable rural development to take place in regions affected by drought.

Project themes

Projects should focus on one or more of the following six themes which have a large impact on climate-related matters.

Energy

Energy >

Water & Sanitation

Water & Sanitation >

Environmental Policy

Environmental Policy >

Biodiversity

Biodiversity >

Education & Research

Education & Research >

Agriculture

Agriculture >

Energy

Energy

Energy generation and use account for a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions. This is therefore an area with important opportunities for improvement.  Limiting emissions, improving energy efficiency and increasing the share of energy from renewables are all crucial in the fight against climate change.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies. Each of these must be demonstrably effective for reducing emissions or mitigating climate change impact, with this as the primary purpose, in a way which would not happen otherwise:

  • Reforming regulatory policy to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy;
  • Improving the regulatory body’s capacity and regulatory options to deal with the consequences of climate change;
  • Promoting energy saving and demand-side efficiency. E.g., through actions such as retrofitting, co-generation or transition to equipment that operates on more climate-friendly fuel sources;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions via project development, or the creation of a favourable climate for developing and disseminating know-how and technologies that extend renewable energy production;
  • Reducing emissions through reforming energy transmission and distribution. E.g., by adapting electricity grids to improve efficiency and incorporate more renewable energy sources, or creating new “off-grid” systems based on renewable sources.

Water & Sanitation

Water & Sanitation

Climate change is causing a heavy decline in water resources, both at the surface and underground. This, combined with increased incidences of flooding, means there is a significant risk to water supply, quality and the ability to manage it. These risks are regionally bound, with developing countries most badly affected.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Reducing energy consumption within the water supply infrastructure;
  • Resolving fluctuations in the supply of or access to water. E.g., by climate-proofing the water infrastructure to increase its resilience to stress caused by drought and floods;
  • Reducing energy consumption within sanitation infrastructure, or preventing methane emissions;
  • Protecting waste-water systems, water sources and human health through action related to ground and surface water levels, in particular through waste-water recycling;
  • Significantly contributing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by promoting modern waste-to-energy systems with waste collection/recycling and recovery/re-use of methane;
  • Waste management systems which improve protection of water sources or fragile ecosystems and increase resilience to climate change impacts;
  • Protection and/or rehabilitation of water bodies, swamps and wetlands as CO2 storage areas;
  • Protecting water reserves, to build resistance to water shortages and large fluctuations in water availability.

Environmental Policy

Environmental policy

Government policies, legislation and the means to implement them are pivotal to facilitating climate-related action. Enabling institutional reforms and strengthening climate-related policy aspects, such as strategies and plans at both national or regional level, is crucial.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Preparing national inventories of greenhouse gases;
  • Developing policies and/or implementation instruments (such as national plans) for mitigating climate change and carrying out related economic analysis;
  • Analyses and research into needs related to climate technology;
  • Developing and implementing adaptation strategies at national level, or as part of decentralisation programmes;
  • Supporting adaptation of national and international policies, plans and programmes;
  • Reinforcing regulations and legislation for measures that promote adaptation;
  • Providing budgetary support to a national or local government for adaptation and/or implementation of climate-related policies.

Biodiversity

Biodiversity

Biodiversity is integral to the climate change jigsaw. It provides mechanisms for mitigating climate change impacts, such as wetlands which form natural flood barriers and plant life that improves the quality of local water and urban air. Meanwhile, marine and terrestrial ecosystems aid CO2 absorption. Conversely, climate change itself is contributing to the decline of biodiversity.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Maintaining CO2 storage capacity within the vegetation layer (especially forests) and soil (especially wetlands);
  • Protecting and promoting carbon sinks through sustainable management and conservation of oceans and coastal areas, wetlands, wilderness areas and other water ecosystems;
  • Climate-resistant conservation measures that allow species to adapt to climate change (e.g. protected eco-corridors for migration);
  • Ecosystem-based adaptation (e.g. restoring and managing water sources to improve continuity of drinking water supply in areas prone to drought).

Education & Research

Education & Research

Education & research is essential for long-term development and implementation of all the other project themes covered by the G-STIC Climate Action Programme. Activities that provide related training, raise awareness and improve public participation and access to information in these areas (Energy, Water & Sanitation, Environmental policy, Biodiversity and Agriculture) are therefore also eligible to apply for subsidies.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Research relating to mitigating and monitoring climate change, including oceanographic and atmospheric projects;
  • Research relating to adaptation to climate change, including meteorological and hydrological observation and prediction, impact and vulnerability studies;
  • Education, training and awareness campaigns relating to climate change, its causes and impacts and the importance of adaptation and mitigation in the battle against it;
  • Off-grid energy access for schools, sustainable school buildings (e.g. with natural cooling systems);
  • Integration of climate-related education in school curricula.

Agriculture

Agriculture

Agriculture is faced with double-edged sword, as it suffers the consequences of climate change as well as contributes to climate change. It is important to both reduce greenhouse gas emissions caused by agriculture and adapt food production to cope with the impact of climate change.

Projects focusing on one or more objectives in line with or similar to the examples below will be considered for subsidies:

  • Supporting agricultural methods which reduce or avoid production of carbon or other greenhouse gas emissions, or increase the storage of greenhouse gases. (e.g. use of energy-efficient machinery);
  • Supporting agricultural methods with higher ability to withstand climate change through diversification of production, cultivation of climate-resistant crops (able to handle heat and drought) or promotion of water-efficient irrigation techniques;
  • Supporting sustainable agricultural practices which enable vulnerable areas to adapt to climate change and sustainable rural development to take place in regions affected by drought.

Project types

Dissemination and capacity building projects

Dissemination and capacity building projects which support the preparation of policy papers, roadmaps and action plans aimed at rolling out specific climate solutions in developing countries. The maximum subsidy awarded to any individual project is 200,000 euro not exceeding 85% of the total project cost. Applications may be submitted by universities, knowledge institutions, NGOs, non-profit organisations and consultancies located in the Flemish region.

Demonstration projects

Demonstration projects which identify possible climate solutions in developing countries linked to integrated climate plans, instruments and strategies. The maximum subsidy awarded to any individual project is 700,000 euro not exceeding 60% of the total project cost. Applications for financial support for demonstration projects may be submitted by companies located in the Flemish region.

Submission closed & evaluation of applications

All applications will be evaluated by an independent jury under the coordination of the Flemish Department of Environment & Spatial Development in November 2021. Submitted projects must achieve a score of 2 for Climate Change Markers adaptation and/or mitigation as defined by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (the so-called Rio Markers).

Approved projects will be those judged as actively contributing to the implementation of developing countries’ policies, strategies, action plans and climate actions, in terms of adaptation and/or mitigation.

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