The Climate
    Challenge Final
    at COP26!

    At COP26 on Thursday 11 November the challenge finalists pitched their climate proposals

    In total 118 businesses applied and participated in this challenge, with only one proposal per country being selected. At COP26 the final top 3 projects will be introduced to the world.Each of the top 3 businesses did their very best to convince a jury of experts, to allocate an additional €100.000 Consultation and Capacity Development grant.

    Climate Solutions

    The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) is looking for scalable climate solutions in Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh.

    DFCD Going Live!

    The Dutch Fund for Climate and Development (DFCD) is organising an extra push for proposals by launching the ‘Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge’ in Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh.

    For each country, we are organizing an interactive event to discuss the local climate challenges and how the DFCD could support potentially bankable climate projects in scaling successfully, and generating social and environmental development.

    Re-watch a recording of the live events below.

    Solutions’ landscapes

    The effects of rising sea levels, flooding, droughts and unpredictable weather patterns are all major threats to fragile ecosystems and societies that depend upon these ecosystems services. A business proposal for the challenge should strengthen the resilience of the landscapes in our three focus countries.


    The Greater Virunga Landscape is situated in the south-west of Uganda bordering on the
    Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. This landscape has the highest biodiversity of Uganda and comprises ancient tropical forests, ice-capped mountains, active volcanoes, savannah, swamps and wetlands.


    The landscape in Bangladesh is a riverine floodplain with three major rivers; the Ganges, the Brahmaputra and the Meghna. The coastal zone of Bangladesh is home to significant
    aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems.


    The South of Kenya North of Tanzania, also known as the SOKNOT landscape, is home to
    three major ecosystems: the Mau-Mara-Serengeti, Amboseli-West Kilimanjaro and
    Tsavo-Mkomazi. All are connected by important wildlife migratory corridors.

    Application Criteria

    Eligible Country

    Project is located in Uganda, Kenya or Bangladesh. This could be in or outside the landscapes.

    Commercial Viability

    Project is potentially commercially viable & financially sustainable.

    Rio Marker 2

    Principal objective of the project is to improve climate adaptation or mitigation (according to the OECD Rio Marker 2 methodology).

    National Ownership

    Aligned with national development plans and priorities of the host country, and the project is aligned.

    Vulnerable Groups

    Includes objectives or activities aimed at vulnerable groups (poor, disabled, children, other) and/or generating positive impact for women.

    No Excluded Activities

    No Activities such as Deforestation, Fossil Fuels, or Nuclear Energy. There is a full list that can be requested.

    Size of the Organisation

    Lead organisation receiving funding should be a private sector entity and have total value of assets or annual turnover of at least 6 million Euros.

    Long term need for finance

    Project has the potential to scale up with a long term finance need of at least 6 million Euros.


    Project should be able to co-invest, cash/in kind via own or external resources, at least 25% development grants sought from DFCD, which is up to 350.000 Euros for this challenge.

    Financial Additionality

    Should have the ambition for seeking long-term financial support from DFCD and other sources of finance are currently sparse


    frequently asked questions

    All OECD-DAC ODA recipient countries are eligible for support from the DFCD, see complete list here. The DFCD is organising an extra push for proposals in Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh by launching the ‘Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge’. The benefits of participating in the challenge is that the selected project developers have a chance to present their project at COP 26 (possibly in Glasgow) and are eligible to receive an additional Capacity Development Contribution. Additionally, staffing resources can be dedicated to help selected projects  receive follow-on DFCD debt or equity finance.

    Three projects will be selected as part of the DFCD Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge, one in each of the three challenge countries: Uganda, Kenya, and Bangladesh.

    However, the DFCD has resources to support more projects outside of this specific challenge. Participating companies that fit with the DFCD mandate could thus still be eligible for grant funding, technical assistance, or financial support.

    The deadline to apply for the DFCD Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge is June 30th, 2021. However, the DFCD will still be interested to receive your proposals, even after the challenge / up to the end of 2022, as long as the DFCD funding remains available.

    Any private sector entity with total value of assets or annual turnover of at least EUR 6 million.

    We welcome applications from a consortium of different organizations. However, the challenge is specifically intended to support scalable private business models that benefit climate change. The development grant is thus intended to support commercial propositions that have potential to scale and absorb interest or dividend bearing debt or equity financing.

    These aspects can be part of your project design but cannot be the primary focus of the business proposition. The DFCD is specially set up to support four priority themes: 1) Water and sanitation, 2) Protecting ecosystems, 3) Smart agriculture and 4) Forestry

    All OECD-DAC countries are eligible for support from the DFCD, see complete list here.  However, you will not be able to participate in the Scalable Climate Solutions Challenge if your project is not located in one of the three aforementioned countries.

    Please scroll up to see “Application Criteria” section on this page.

    Yes. We assess each project based upon their impact, commercial feasibility, and scalability. Some additional elements that we might consider:

    • The track record of the applicant/sponsor, specifically in the relevant industry.
    • Whether there is already an available market for the product or service.
    • Whether the project fits in the wider landscape, benefiting local stakeholder needs, and has a positive impact on improving ecosystem and community resilience  (according to the OECD Rio Marker 2 methodology).

    Preferably local offices of one of the DFCD consortium members are onboard for providing continued support to the projects, see locations here: WWF, SNV, CFM and FMO

    Project developers should be able to co-invest cash, or provide an in kind contribution, into the projects, either themselves or by making use of external resources, amounting to a minimum of 25% of the project’s development costs. Also, please note that the maximum DFCD development grant amount is set at EUR 350,000. If and when follow-on long term finance is sought from the DFCD, around 50% matching is required.

    The average waiting time for the initial screening process is around two weeks. However, in peak periods the wait time might take longer.

    The intake form can be found by clicking on this link here or the “apply now” button on this page.

    Challenge Timeline



    Launch of the Challenge at the Global Adaptation Summit

    April – May

    Live sessions to understand climate challenges in selected landscapes

    June 30

    Deadline for application to the Scalable Climate Solutions challenge.

    July – September

    Cooperation between DFCD and its partners with organizations delivering promising proposals. This includes virtual sessions and sessions in-person in the relevant countries.


    Selection by committee of experts of the three most eligible proposals.


    Preparation of the best proposals for COP26 together with DFCD and its partners.


    Three finalists present their cases at COP26 in Glasgow and the ultimate winner chosen.

    Win development capital and technical assistance

    Over 1 million euros in development contribution will be available to support the three most viable climate solutions. The overall winner of the challenge will get the opportunity to present at COP26 this year in Glasgow, Scotland.

    All selected businesses and projects will receive support from WWF and SNV (the DFCD’s Origination Partners), which will help them become (more) eligible for DFCD follow-on debt or equity finance.

    Currently the application process for this challenge have ended, but if you have any questions or think you might have and interesting project that we should consider, please e-mail

    Do you have an interesting project?