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Scientific support to designing mitigation pathways and policies

Actions should address only one of the following sub-topics:

a) Assessing and designing climate policies for the coming decade:

Actions should analyse what contributed to the delivery on the 2020 energy and climate policy targets, based on available European and national data and outcomes, with special regard to, inter alia, policy implementation, low-carbon investment flows, industrial innovation, the energy- land-use nexus, economic and environmental impact, and technology development and diffusion, as well as consequences for the post-2020 period. In the context of the EU's 2030 energy and climate targets and in view of providing scientific support to the design of post-2030 climate policies, actions should also analyse the needed evolution of the mitigation, adaptation and innovation policy mix at all relevant scales, including their innovative financing, the associated macro-economic and sector-level impact, including on productivity, competitiveness, environment, health and employment; the required investment flows for zero carbon solutions; the relevant socio-technical transition processes, as well as the interaction between near- to mid-term action, and long-term mitigation pathways. Finally, actions should involve relevant (private and public) stakeholders to enhance further their policy-relevance.

b) Decarbonisation and lifestyle changes:

Citizen engagement in climate action will be indispensable for delivering on the Paris Agreement goals, therefore identifying critical areas of individual level action, relevant structural changes and means to incentivise them are key. Accordingly, actions should identify and analyse the role of individuals (including gender aspects), households and communities in the socio-technical transition, critical areas of lifestyle change, and associated social innovation processes that are needed globally and in Europe to be in phase with low-carbon emission pathways. The analysis should consider, inter alia, the economic and climate impact of shifting lifestyle and consumption patterns, and the health co-benefits of action, as well as the risks of unintended consequences (e.g. rebound effects). Actions should also explore how citizen and household level changes can be incentivised and analyse enablers for and barriers to public engagement and acceptance. Actions may also explore possible policies and communication strategies on climate action where appropriate in conjunction with health co-benefits in order to engage citizens and stakeholders from relevant economic sectors and develop concrete recommendations. Already existing low-carbon lifestyles within intentional communities like eco villages, transition towns, slow food, slow city movements or car-free living maybe investigated in terms of what hampers their action despite high motivation and what can be learned for up-scaling or duplicating low-carbon practices. Finally, actions may explore citizen science activities as a way to engage and educate citizens on climate action.

c) Science underpinning the preparations of NDCs after the 2023 Global Stocktake at a global scale:

Following the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue which examined countries collective progress in global climate action, the next milestones of global climate governance will be the 2023 Global Stocktake and the preparation of new NDCs for the period beyond 2030, which for most countries have to be submitted by 2025. The need for adequate scientific capacities at national and subnational levels – and going beyond major economies – remains considerable. Actions should provide state-of-the-art evidence to policymakers during this crucial time. In particular, they should: contribute to the evidence base supporting countries efforts to finalise NDCs in 2024 following the Global Stocktake at the end of 2023 by i) reviewing the process of the development of existing NDCs including if and how policies were implemented by 2023 to achieve these NDCs, ii) providing scientific information on the options available for preparing post-2030 NDCs compatible with the goals of the Paris Agreement (mid- and long-term action) and latest climate science, within the context of multiple economic and sustainable development priorities and iii) demonstrating through quantitative modelling techniques how scientific findings such as those assessed in the IPCC can be translated into viable policies and long-term decarbonisation pathways at regional and national levels. Furthermore, actions should provide insights concerning the risks related to stranded assets, as well as possible interactions with policies targeting the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Actions should also assess to what extent, next to national action in the context of NDCs, international bunker fuels can contribute to achieve the Paris Agreement's mitigation goals, and what the risks are for double counting efforts between sectors.

Proposals for all sub-topics are encouraged to extend their analysis to some major emitters outside Europe and to selected less-developed countries.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU in the range of EUR 3-5 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

The early 2020s will be an important period for EU climate action. In the context of the Paris Agreement, all Parties including the EU were invited to submit by 2020 both an update of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) regarding short term actions up to 2030 as well as long-term greenhouse gas emission development strategies up to 2050. These strategies are expected to underpin the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2°C and to pursue efforts to keep it below 1.5°C. They will also address the need to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century, as highlighted by the recent IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C. Achieving the Paris climate goals and EU commitments will also depend on individuals, households and communities, who should systematically choose low-carbon options in their daily consumption, lifestyle and investment decisions. Effective communication on climate change and demand-side measures will be instrumental for active engagement of citizens. A reliable policy framework is needed for business and consumers enabling low-carbon consumption, lifestyle and investment decisions. Furthermore, the EU does not act in isolation and cannot achieve the Paris Agreement goals by its own mitigation efforts. Also other countries will be preparing for their next steps related to the development of new NDCs. Achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement will require a very significant increase of ambition and swift implementation at the global scale. Actions under this topic should provide scientific evidence, analysis and support for these processes and reinforce the link between the latest climate science, mitigation pathways and underlying policies.

The project results are expected to contribute to:

  • providing measurable support to the EU's long term strategy on greenhouse gas emission reductions;
  • providing national and global pathways towards the Paris Agreement’s global temperature goal and insights into how these can inform countries’ next NDCs.
  • supporting the Stocktake Exercise by taking stock of collective progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and investigating how progress can be accelerated;
  • demonstrating how the latest climate science (including the 6th Assessment Report of the IPCC) can be converted into practical advice for national mitigation action;