Collaboration between three Horizon 2020 projects for the decarbonisation and resilience of the European economy

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The three Horizon 2020 projects INNOPATHS, REINVENT and EUCALC address the challenges of planning technological transition ahead of time and prioritising within and between different sectors in Europe. 

By acting in this way, they support stringent mitigation policies while taking into account the inertia in innovation systems and lock-in effects as well. They have been funded under the topic 'Pathways towards the decarbonisation and resilience of the European economy in the timeframe 2030-2050 and beyond'.

This collaboration on the decarbonisation of the EU economy is aimed at exchanging experiences while avoiding fragmentation and duplication of efforts. INNOPATHS, REINVENT and EUCALC collaborate in the communication and dissemination activities, joining efforts to stimulate science-to-policy discussions in support of policy making. This collaboration resulted in a joint participation at policy relevant events, such as the EU Sustainable Energy Week 2017 and a side-event at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn in November 2017.

How economic and social actors can champion CO2 phase-out

A joint session on 'How economic and social actors can champion CO2 phase-out' was organized at the European Sustainable Energy Week 2017. It featured contributions from Paul Ekins, Lars J. Nilsson and Jürgen Kropp, coordinators of INNOPATHS, REINVENT and EUCALC respectively. The session's discussions have identified the role of economic and social actors in CO2 phase-out, highlighting the importance of thoroughly understanding the innovation needs to address challenges of decarbonisation. 

The key elements of this process include co-designing low-carbon scenario narratives (i.e., through stakeholder engagement), providing platforms for dialogue and learning, and complementing a “top-down” with a “bottom-up” perspective to understand climate innovation and initiatives from within sectors. deep decarbonisation pathways can promote economic development and competitiveness through ‘mission-driven’ innovation, supportive government policy and industrial strategy. 

The unifying theme of all presentations has been the industrial opportunity provided by the new technologies of decarbonisation

Earlier discourse of climate change mitigation tended to stress the costs involved and the need to share equitably the ‘burden’ of climate change policy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. More recently, instead, the cost reductions in low-carbon electricity technologies and the large investments in energy storage technologies have caused climate change mitigation to be regarded rather as a chance to develop new industries. All three projects are exploring this dimension of climate change mitigation in their own ways.

A joint event at the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The European Sustainable Energy Week 2017 has not been the only chance for these three projects to collaborate. Another opportunity for them to gather was the side event on Low Carbon Europe 2050- the vision and beyond was organised at the 23rd Conference of the Parties on 9th November 2017. The event focused on the insights from Horizon 2020 projects (INNOPATHS, REINVENT, EUCALC and CARISMA) and other researches on low carbon transitions, ranging from the essential elements to explore future strategies and governance frameworks. Projects representatives have discussed mitigation options, pathways and strategies of low carbon transitions as well as key opportunities, innovation barriers and lock-in effects. They have also addressed policy and governance implications seen from research, and the roles and responsibilities in science-policy interaction and co-design.

Upcoming events and next steps

  • CARISMA Final Conference "Realising the Potential for Climate Change Mitigation Options - Implementing the Paris Agreement in Europe and beyond" on 6 February 2018 
  • Decarbonisation project networking workshop  in Brussels on 7 February – Closed event


Check the contributions of Paul Ekins, Lars J. Nilsson and Jürgen Kropp at the EUSEW2017: 


Are you interested in climate action? Check our data hub and learn more about the other Horizon 2020 projects working in this domain!



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