Mainstream climate change into post-2020 funding framework, Climate-KIC urges European Commission

EIT Climate-KIC is calling on the European Commission to mainstream climate change into all policy areas covered by the EU’s next long-term budget.

Responding to ongoing discussion in Brussels around the EU’s post-2020 Multi-Annual Financial Framework, EIT Climate-KIC has urged that the funding of research and innovation be designed to stimulate systemic innovation that tackles underlying economic and financial structures, skills and behaviour as well as resulting in new technologies.

It is only by working on the whole system in this way that we will achieve the speed and depth of cuts in emissions needed to tackle climate change, according to the organisation’s paper, which sets out its position.

Discussion between EU decision makers over the priority of future policies, programmes and funds for research and innovation, and how they can be designed to best deliver results on the ground, is currently underway in Brussels. 

A new approach to funding

As the Commission, European Parliament and Member States draw up their positions, EIT Climate-KIC argues that a new approach to funding is needed, one that embraces experimental approaches and investment in non-linear structural change with continuous learning fed back into the innovation process. 

“This involves supporting and funding new entrepreneurs and businesses whose models are not yet proven but whose understanding of the needs they are serving is clear,” said EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop.

Despite European leadership and concerted effort and focus from the global community, Europe – and the rest of the world – is lagging behind the commitments needed to deliver the Paris Agreement. Europe must act fast if it is to stay within a 2°C global warming target.  

“Electric power production shows something of what is possible with the right combination of support. Our attention must now be focused similarly on shifting agriculture from carbon source to a carbon sink, shifting industrial production from linear to circular and rethinking remobility, construction and infrastructure,” added Dunlop.

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology

Under the auspices of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, EIT Climate-KIC, and its fellow knowledge and innovation communities have a breadth of innovation experience and insight to feed into the funding framework.  

Europe is facing many challenges that must and can be solved through innovation. The EIT, together with EIT Climate-KIC, says it is ready to roll-out our unique innovation model to new regions and countries, and share its innovation know-how to create new products, services and jobs for Europe and its citizens.

Since 2010, EIT Climate-KIC and its 280 Partners have leveraged €2.5 billion worth of climate action, harnessing. innovation opportunities through more than 150 cross-sector, cross-border partner projects.

Over 1000 innovative start-ups have been created in Climate-KIC programmes, attracting €450 million investment. 

EIT Climate-KIC’s multi-annual funding framework recommendations

  • Climate change must be a key priority in the future multi-annual financial framework.
  • Innovation is essential for the transition to a net zero-carbon economy.
  • Strategic innovation is key to achieving systemic change.
  • Innovation funding needs to move beyond single point solutions.
  • Public funding needs to adopt an investment logic to support innovation, particularly of a non-linear system nature.
  • The whole of Europe should benefit from innovation funding.
  • Build and invest in existing innovation networks such as Climate-KIC.

Read the full paper here

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