Horizon 2020
The EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation

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Climate Action, Environment, Resource Efficiency and Raw Materials

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Activities in this Challenge will help increase European competitiveness, raw materials security and improve wellbeing. At the same time they will assure environmental integrity, resilience and sustainability with the aim of keeping average global warming below 2° C and enabling ecosystems and society to adapt to climate change and other environmental changes.

This Challenge funds research and innovation with the following specific objectives:

  • to achieve a resource – and water - efficient and climate change resilient economy and society,
  • the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems, and
  • a sustainable supply and use of raw materials, in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the sustainable limits of the planet's natural resources and eco-systems.
     

The 20th century's era of seemingly plentiful and cheap resources is coming to an end. The ability of the economy to adapt and become more climate change resilient, resource efficient and at the same time remain competitive depends on high levels of eco-innovation, of a societal, economic, organisational and technological nature. With the global market for eco-innovation worth around €1 trillion per annum and expected to triple by 2030, eco-innovation represents a major opportunity to boost competitiveness and job creation in European economies.

To ensure EU added value and given the transnational and global nature of the climate and the environment, their scale and complexity, and the international dimension of the raw materials supply chain, activities have to be carried out at the Union level and beyond. Reducing resource use and environmental impacts, whilst increasing competitiveness, will require a decisive societal and technological transition to an economy based on a sustainable relationship between nature and human well-being.

Innovation in these fields will provide opportunities for growth and jobs, as well as innovative options involving science, technology including of ICT, the economy, society, policy and governance.
 

Research and innovation will cover the following broad lines of activities:

  • Climate Action - Informed decisions for a climate-resilient low-carbon society
  • Cultural Heritage - Engaging a new cultural heritage agenda for economic growth
  • Earth Observations - Crucial info on climate, energy, natural hazards and other societal challenge
  • Nature-Based Solutions - Providing viable solutions of natural ecosystems
  • Systemic Eco-Innovation - Generating and sharing economic and environmental benefits
Newsroom

News

18/12/2015 - 13:45
European Investment Bank, Luxembourg,

At the "Financing the Circular Economy" conference on 10 December, Wolfgang Burtscher (Deputy Director-General of DG Research and Innovation) signed an amendment to the InnovFin Delegation Agreement that helps circular economy projects and businesses secure funding and supports the realisation of EU climate goals.

Read more

18/02/2015 - 18:54

Around 65 experts assembled in Brussels to discuss what 'climate-smart farms' of 2030 should look like, with the ultimate goal to define research activities which may help us progress on the road towards climate-smart agriculture. Read more

23/01/2015 - 12:36

Have your say on how to make the most out of Earth observation! Read more

Project stories

22/09/2015 - 15:31

We know that clouds in the Earth’s atmosphere are made of liquid water droplets, ice particles or a mixture of both. Still, our basic understanding on the nature of these ice particles, how they form and their role in climate continue to be poor. The results of Dr Benjamin Murray's ERC research, published today in Nature, add a new piece to the atmospheric puzzle. Read more

03/07/2015 - 15:37

How might climate change affect communities and how can they cope with the impacts? To prepare the way for an EU-wide climate service that can best answer those questions, an EU-funded project has developed local climate services, identifying the data local stakeholders need – and the best ways to communicate it. Read more

18/05/2015 - 17:18

Freely accessible online tools to enable sustainable and efficient water resource management are being developed by the EU-funded SWITCH-ON project. The initiative is currently building a web portal to host innovations such as a virtual water-science laboratory, product marketing point and meeting place. Read more

Publications

13/11/2015 - 17:11

This report presents the conclusions of the independent Expert Group on the “Follow-up to Rio+20, notably the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” that was established by the European Commission (EC) to provide advice on the role of science, technology and innovation (STI) for implementing the new global sustainable development agenda (2030 Agenda). Read more

25/09/2015 - 17:40

Horizon 2020 is the EU’s biggest ever programme for research and innovation, and it has got off to an excellent start. This brochure presents information on the first 100 calls for proposals that closed by 1 December 2014. Read more

03/07/2015 - 15:42

The ambition of this report edveloped by the H2020 expert group on climate services is to offer a framework for discussion to the relevant actors and to the stakeholders. It paves the way to shared solutions and pathways facilitating the development of a market for climate services that provides benefits to society. The report offers an essential contribution to achieving the EU objectives of an Energy Union with a forward looking climate policy. Read more