European Commission funds green and digital transition with €1 billion call

18 September 2020 | Muriel Cozier

SCI’s Green Recovery File: Leaders from some of Europe’s biggest businesses back the transition to a more sustainable and circular economy

The European Commission has launched a €1 billion call for research and innovation projects that will help mitigate the climate crisis and protect Europe’s unique ecosystems.

The European Green Deal Call is funded through Horizon 2020 and will spur Europe’s recovery from the pandemic.  The Commission said that the Green Deal Call differs from previous Horizon 2020 calls, aiming for ‘discernible results in the short to medium-term, but with a perspective for long-term change.’ The focus will be on rapid scalability, dissemination and uptake.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth said ‘The €1 billion European Green Deal call is the last and biggest call under Horizon 2020. With innovation at its heart, this investment will accelerate a just and sustainable transition to a climate neutral Europe by 2050. As we do not want anyone left behind in this systematic transformation, we call for specific actions to engage with citizens in novel ways and improve societal relevance and impact.’

The projects funded under the call are expected to deliver results with benefits in ten areas; these include clean, secure energy, farm to fork, smart mobility and empowering citizens. The deadline for submissions is 26 January 2021.

The Commission’s strategy has been endorsed by CEOs and senior representatives from 30 European companies.  The CEO Action Group for the European Green Deal, which was established by the World Economic Forum said that the way out of the current crisis cannot rely on ‘more of the same.’

In a joint statement the companies said that recovery from covid-19 was an opportunity to reset Europe’s economy with a new growth model on the path to net-zero emissions, based on circularity, renewable energy and low-carbon industries.

Børge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum said ‘…It is the right time for businesses to show how they can effectively contribute to achieving the EU’s climate targets. As a next step, this groups is working on lighthouse projects, which demonstrate how to step up action in areas such as sustainable transport and mobility, food and agriculture and renewable energy markets.’

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