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Setting the priorities for a European environment, climate and health research agenda


The aim is to establish a research/policy coordination group consisting of relevant science and policy actors in environment and health from H2020-funded activities and national/EU regulatory bodies as well as relevant international actors. The objective is to identify proactively key policy areas requiring scientific support for environment, climate change and health related issues in the next decade and develop a European medium-term research and innovation strategy and agenda covering key research and policy aspects – from causality research and new technologies and approaches to evaluation of socio-economic impacts of environment and health problems and preventive actions, also in occupational settings. In addition to this strategy, a set of guidelines, agreed by the stakeholder community, reflecting the current state-of-art for health impact and risk assessment of environmental factors applicable across key sectors, should be developed. The action is invited to structure its work in an inclusive way, ensuring the engagement of all stakeholders including from European countries with less developed environment and health research and policy. The proposal should contain a clear work plan for 3 years, but be open for modifications required to meet the needs of the relevant policy processes (e.g. development of the next EU research framework programme, WHO environment and health process).

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a three-year duration and an EU contribution between EUR 2 to 3 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Environment and health research is wide in scope and multidisciplinary, and the related policies and regulations are spread across different sectors and organisational structures. In Europe, in addition to the specific policies in sectors such as air and water quality, noise or chemicals, there are currently several overarching policy programmes governing environment and health: the Seventh Environment Action Programme[[]] to 2020, the WHO-led European Environment and Health Process[[]], the Paris agreement adopted under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change[[]] and the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development[[]]. In order to respond to the new and continuing challenges in environment, climate change and health in the next decade, identified in these and other policy programmes, increased coordination and cross-fertilisation of ideas between sectors is required. This will raise the visibility of the work undertaken, introduce a more strategic approach, thereby optimising and adding value to H2020 and the next EU research framework contributions to environment and health activities and policies in Europe.

  • Development of a research and innovation agenda for the environment (including climate change) and health nexus as input to the next EU research framework programme, including for occupational settings and quantification and monetisation of health impacts of policies.
  • Contribution to the European WHO environment and health process and the implementation plan resulting from the Ostrava Declaration on Environment and Health.
  • Increased coordination between environment, climate change and health projects supported across H2020 sectors and development of a cross-cutting stakeholder community.
  • A set of guidelines for evaluating the socio-economic impact of environmental influences on health and wellbeing recognised by the international community.