Limiting global temperature rise to well below 2°C, one of the very ambitious goals of the COP21 Paris Agreement, requires deep decarbonisation of our economy and major technological, institutional and socio-economic transitions in the coming decades. ‘Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future’is thus a key research and innovation priority within Horizon 2020 in order to scientifically explore possible low-carbon futures.

Eighteen Horizon 2020 funded projects participated in a decarbonisation projects networking workshop on 7 February 2018. All these projects work on climate change mitigation and decarbonisation from different angles, ranging from assessing technological transitions, energy system modelling, policy analysis and development, linkages to sustainable development goals, financial incentives and economic assessment, climate services for the energy sector to social acceptability of the required transitions.

Participants shared knowledge and key project results at the science-policy interface. The workshop facilitated the exchange of experiences and discussion on topics of mutual interest and helped identifying synergies and cooperation opportunities for maximising their impact.

The morning session gave an overview of the EU research and innovation policy after the Paris Agreement and on scientific underpinning of the EU Climate policy 2020-2030.The CARISMA project presented their findings on how to navigate the science-policy interface. EASME introduced the decarbonisation projects landscape, followed by panel discussions on global and regional zero emission pathways and costs and challenges of low-carbon transition in main emission sectors in the EU.

Over lunchtime, a poster session was organised and offered to the participants an additional opportunity to get to know each other and learn about their respective projects. It was particularly appreciated by two new projects, COACCH and SOCLIMPACT, which have just joined the community of projects working in the field of decarbonisation.

The afternoon session was dedicated to roundtable discussions on topics of mutual interest co-defined by the European Commission and the project participants using the world café method, a participatory approach fostering collaborative dialogues. The participants discussed how dissemination actions could be better coordinated across projects, how results can feed into policies/strategies and contribute to scientific assessments, how stakeholder engagement and co-design approaches could be improved, how exchange of experiences and sharing knowledge among projects could be enhanced and how to foster greater transparency of models, methods and tools.

Participants stressed that organising general project networking events, such as this one, or more specific, thematic fora among the different projects using online tools, could strongly facilitate exchange of experiences, information and interim results. Publishing of planned project events and milestones on a web-portal will also help to identify possibilities for collaboration between projects, such as joint policy events or policy briefs, and maximise the impact of the project outcomes.

 

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  • This article first appeared at: https://ec.europa.eu/easme/en/news/horizon-2020-projects-decarbonisation-economy-help-reach-paris-agreement
  • Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash