With a proposed budget of 100 billion euro from 2021 to 2027, the Horizon Europe framework programme represents the largest collaborative multinational research and innovation (R&I) investment in Europe. A Strategic Plan will put forward the targeted impacts for the investment in research and innovation and the priorities for the first four years of implementation of Horizon Europe.
An R&I that is sensitive to EU long-term climate goals and that aligns with the Paris Agreement can help identify opportunities, ensure EU long-term competitiveness, and deliver job creation and growth in a carbon-neutral economy.
In this context, Carbon market Watch believes that Horizon Europe should primarily support research and technology development and innovation to contribute to the decarbonisation of the economy, including the industrial sector. It should include climate objectives across all the different clusters, pillars and missions.
In particular, Horizon Europe should be fully aligned with and be an integral part of EU Climate policy, and contribute to a structural economic transformation. At least half of Horizon Europe’s budget should be dedicated to climate action: this will provide new innovative technologies, products and businesses with the means to scale up and deliver the economy-wide decarbonisation and bring about maximum societal benefits of this transition.
No support should be given to R&I projects based on fossil fuels, including natural gas. To be consistent with its Paris Agreement commitments, Horizon Europe should exclude any funding that would perpetuate or encourage the use or construction of fossil fuel infrastructure and carbon-intensive projects.
Horizon Europe represents an opportunity to strengthen Europe’s innovation capability and plays a crucial role in leveraging additional public and private investments that are essential to fund climate-friendly R&I projects in Europe.
Horizon Europe should, therefore, be fully exploited in order for R&I to deliver its crucial contribution to the EU’ s long term climate strategy and the transition to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 at the latest.