IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen capacities in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to develop and implement transformational climate adaptation and mitigation strategies; enhance access to international climate finance; and better equip SIDS and LDCs in engaging in UNFCCC negotiations.

Project period
October 2016 – September 2019

German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, as part of its International Climate Initiative

Charles & Associates Inc. (Grenada)
Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research


Science-based adaptation and mitigation strategies are essential to promote sustainable development. Dakar, Senegal. ©Jeff Attaway, Flickr

Climate change poses an existential threat to many Small Island Developing States and Least Developed Countries and undermines sustainable development prospects for most.

These climate-vulnerable countries often lack capacity to develop and implement science-based strategies for climate adaptation and mitigation, access climate finance and fully represent their interests at the international level.

Following the adoption and ratification of the Paris Agreement, major focus in the coming four years will be on the implementation of mitigation and low-carbon development strategies and adaptation. This will require science-based tools and strategies for SIDS and LDCs to effectively access climate finance.

IMPACT is a cross-cutting, multi-faceted project that aims to strengthen the connections between the scientific assessments of climate impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to help enable access to finance and help implement concrete projects.

At the same time, SIDS and LDCs have a vital interest in being able to fully engage in negotiating an ambitious and 1.5°C limit-compatible implementation of the Paris Agreement in the period to 2020.

IMPACT also aims to enhance SIDS and LDC negotiators’ participation in the international climate negotiations, building on the expertise, networks and trust established through the highly successful SURVIVE and High Level Support Mechanism (HLSM) projects..

The project aims to build sustainable capacity in partner regions in these dimensions:

  • Analysis of transformational pathways, including emission ambition requirements in line with the 1.5°C goal in the Paris Agreement, to inform implementation, climate finance investments, and adaptation needs
  • Regional analysis of impacts, vulnerability, adaptation, and costs to develop tools for science-based policy-making
  • Improve access to climate finance using the tools developed and shape a 1.5°C compatible climate finance architecture
  • Support national implementation of science-based climate strategies
  • Support international implementation of the Paris Agreement and supporting rule-sets, facilitative dialogue in 2018 and call for more ambitious NDCs by 2020

The tools and methods of this project will be co-developed with the partner organisations, to follow regional requirements, ensure ownership and the establishment of long-term application capacities. Integration into the larger framework will ensure comparability as well as transferability of results between regions.

Successful development and piloting of the tools and framework will encourage further roll-out in the regions. Regional dissemination will be facilitated through regular regional training workshops throughout the project duration.

Long-term sustainable access to financial resources is supported through building capacities of national and regional entities to successfully prepare and submit funding proposals that fully meet climate finance criteria.

Science-based support for ambitious international climate action by SIDS and LDCs can result in higher levels of global mitigation and other action than would otherwise not have occurred.

Country support request mechanism

One of the unique features that allows IMPACT to deliver tailored policy, technical and scientific support in the focus regions is the ‘country support request mechanism,’ developed with partner countries during the inception phase of the project.

This is how the mechanism works: the requesting body – which can be a regional organisation or a national government department, for example – contacts one of our regional partners (SPREP in the Pacific, CCCCC in the Caribbean and Climate Analytics Lomé in West Africa), specifying its climate-related needs. Our regional scientists then work with the requesting body and regional partners to develop the best approach to deliver this support, which can take a number of forms – workshops or ‘writeshops,’ briefings, technical support to develop proposals to access to international climate funds or national climate policies, for example.

Since the implementation of the mechanism in 2017, IMPACT has responded to more than 20 requests, ranging from assessing the environmental damage, waste problems and immediate actions after cyclone Gita hit the Pacific region in February 2018, to long term strategic planning such reviewing the scientific background of Belize’s National Climate Change Policy, Strategy and Action Plan to Address Climate Change (NCCPSAP). Another important area of support is improving the access to international climate finance: currently, five Pacific SIDS are at different steps in the process of applying for GCF funds, supported by our experts.