The City of Stockholm advises EU on climate research

The EU prioritizes climate research on many levels to reach the goals of the Paris agreement. In order to understand the direction climate research should take, the EU has worked closely with experts. They presented a report on 28 November. The City of Stockholm has taken part in the project, advising on the important role that cities play in the transition to a fossil free future.

The new EU program on climate research is called Horizon Europe. It will be valid between 2021 and 2027. The research committee of the European parliament recently voted pro that 35 percent of EU’s research budget will go towards climate investments (432 billion SEK).

The final report of the EU high-level panel, appointed by research commissioner Carlos Moedas in 2016, serves as an important basis for how this big effort will be shaped. The City of Stockholm participated together with, among others, researchers from KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and has written the chapter about cities’ important role in EU climate research.

In the chapter about climate research in cities, four recommendations are given:

  • Establishing fossil fuel free technological systems in cities. Renewable energy, electric cars, digitalisation and ”smart buildings” can be integrated as one ”organism”.
  • Research on circular economies in cities. Waste can be better used to create new products, energy and carbon dioxide sinks.
  • Develop city leadership towards supporting a fossil fuel free development. Local politics needs to cooperate with national and EU politics, as well as with innovations in the private sector and academies.
  • Engaging citizens in the transition. Research is needed in order to understand how information and control means can be used to create social engagement.

When commissioner Moedas appointed the panel, he gave them a clear mission:
What strategy to adopt in R&I in order to speed up and foster mitigation policies in the EU that respond to the goals of the Paris Agreement, while growing the competitiveness of the EU economy?

The answer is presented in the final report, which will be used at the Katowice Climate Change Conference (COP24) 3-14 December.

These recommendations include:

  1. The need for sustained R&I activities on decarbonisation a cross all sectors, including a robust programme on climate change science
  2. The establishment of large mission-oriented programmes of a cross-cutting nature for the deployment of system-level transdisciplinary innovation
  3. The development of partnerships with industry to address together the most difficult aspects of decarbonisation, on which industry alone would not invest enough and with the necessary urgency
  4. The launch of ‘Transition Super-Labs’, very-large-territory initiatives of real-life management of the transition from typical fossil-fuel-based local economies to zero-carbon ones.

Presenting the report

The EU research commissioner Carlos Moedas presented the report on 28 November, se the link below. The report will also be presented at an event at COP24, on 12 December.

Reference

Final Report of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative, European Commission, November 2018.

Read more

Updated