Earth in the balance
Even if the results were mixed,
the recent Earth Summit in Johannesburg proved
that the concept of sustainable development
is the touchstone for humanity's future. In
the past, growth was 'fuelled' by scientific
and technological progress. Today, the embracing
of the 'sustainable' dimension requires a radical
repositioning of the role of research.
Time to decide
The Fifth Framework Programme
already clearly identified sustainable development
as a research priority. Since the Gothenburg
Summit of June 2001, European leaders have adopted
it as a key common component of all EU policies.
In keeping with the new direction taken by scientific
and technological research with a view to the
European Research Area
- aimed in particular at concentrating
support in priority fields
- pride of place is awarded
to the two most strategic components of sustainable
development: energy and transport. A third
priority reaffirms the importance Europe attaches,
at global level, to research on change worldwide.
- The development, dissemination
and adoption of innovative technologies and
sustainable solutions in energy production
and consumption, in particular through increased
use of renewable energies.
- The development and introduction
of environment-friendly, safe and competitive
mobility systems for passenger and goods transport,
including all forms of surface transport,
i.e. road, rail and sea.
- Improved understanding and
forecasting capacities in regard to global
changes, ecosystems and biodiversity as well
as the creation of new management models.
Support for Research
Community action will concentrate
on three major fields
Sustainable energy systems
- Technological development
and integration of renew-able energy sources
in the energy system, including storage, distribution
- Energy savings and energy
- Development of alternative
- Development of fuel cells
and their application, in particular for transport
and hydrogen storage.
- Reduced use and clean
burning of fossil fuels, especially coal.
Sustainable surface transport
- New technologies and concepts
for surface transport, including novel propulsion
systems, in particular fuel cells.
- Advanced design and production
techniques leading to improved quality, safety,
recyclability, comfort and cost-effectiveness.
- Rebalancing, integration
and interoperability of different modes of
transport, in particular at urban and regional
- Increased safety and reduced
traffic congestion, in particular in urban
areas, by means of electronic and telematic
solutions and advanced satellite navigation
Global change and ecosystems
- Research into reducing greenhouse
gas emissions – generated by energy,
transport, industry and agriculture –
and evaluation of solutions offered by carbon
- Research on ozone layer
- The water cycle, including
- Understanding and protection
of marine and terrestrial biodiversity and
genetic resources, sustainable management
of the impact of human activities on ecosystems.
- Land management, in particular
for the integrated management of coastal zones
and integrated concepts for the multipurpose
utilisation of agicultural and forestry resources.
- Operational forecasting
and modelling, in particular of climate change.
- Risk assessment and methods
for appraising environ-mental quality, including
research on measurements.
€ 2 120 million
Current & Previous activities