European Forum on Science & Education for Sustainability
6 October 2020, virtual event - live from Berlin

Making Europe Climate-neutral

Background and challenges

The EU's "European Green Deal" aims to make Europe the first carbon-neutral continent by 2050 through new legislation, massive investments in climate protection and a far-reaching restructuring of the economy and society. This will require considerable resources to be invested in research, development and innovation. The aim is to find scalable, effective and efficient solutions for climate protection in order to support a socially acceptable structural change towards a competitive and climate-friendly economy. After all, the consequences of man-made climate change are increasingly affecting all areas of our lives. Central to the EU's next research framework programme "Horizon Europe" are pathways to climate neutrality and climate change adaptations. New instruments for this will be the European research and innovation missions "Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation" and "Climate-neutral and smart cities", the technological partnerships and the restructured thematic cluster "Climate, transport and energy".

Aims of the Climate Workshop

Climate knowledge gained through new research initiatives, technological and social innovations are important foundations for achieving the ambitious climate policy goals. Along with the Paris 2015 agreement, the UN's sustainability goals – particularly goal 13: "Climate Action" – have been pointing the way to a more sustainable world since 2016. The EU's funding programme "Horizon Europe" will provide a significant budget for climate research in Europe. Within the framework of the German EU Council Presidency, the EFSES2020 Climate Workshop therefore aims to provide innovative impetus for further shaping – both in content and structure – EU research and its contribution to achieving the EU climate targets.

In-depth discussions in Sub-Workshops

The climate workshop enables European representatives from administration, science, associations and NGOs to discuss their different experiences and perspectives. Together, they will debate the strengths and ways of future EU research under Horizon Europe.

As a participant, you can get involved in one of three areas:

  • Sub-WS I: "Climate Science for Climate Policy"
  • Sub-WS II: "Meeting the EU Climate Targets"
  • Sub WS III: "Have Your Say! Crucial Topics Suggested by Participants"

The three parallel sub workshop-sessions will focus on: I. The science-base required for climate action and societal transformation on Europe's road to 2030 and beyond; II. The role of research in the transitions and transformations needed to tackle the challenge of climate change; III. Any ideas and suggestions that you feel might have been overlooked in political debate and that you want the Presidency of the Council to take note of.

Impulses, ideas and concepts developed in the workshop are intended to be included in the EFSES conference's final paper.

Workshop leader: Dr Frank McGovern, Chair of the Joint Programming Initiative on Climate
Moderator Sub-WS I: Prof. Dr Daniela Jacob, Director of the Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS)
Moderator Sub-WS II: Dr Frank McGovern, Chair of the Joint Programming Initiative on Climate
Moderator Sub-WS III: Prof. Gernot Klepper, Senior Researcher at the Kiel Institute (IfW)
Keynote speaker: Dr Artur Runge-Metzger, Director "Climate strategy, governance, emissions from non-trading sectors", DG Climate Action, European Commission