The European Commission has selected 72 research and innovation projects that will receive €1bn in funding to support the aims of the Green Deal.
These projects are to contribute to the EU’s response to the climate crisis and help protect Europe’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity.
The 72 proposals selected involve almost 1800 participants from the research community, the public and private sectors, and civil society organisations.
The Green Deal was unveiled in December 2019, with the EU planning to provide €8 trillion from the EU’s budget, with a further €1 trillion coming in private investment.
Crucially, the EU will earmark 35% of its €100bn 2021-2027 research budget for climate-friendly technologies, such as announced today.
Grants are expected to be signed by September 2021, following the verification and grant agreement preparation stage.
“The European Green Deal call managed to mobilise the research community, the private sector and other actors that are active in the areas of the European Green Deal. The research teams selected for funding possess the European excellence we need to find breakthrough solutions that can turn green challenges into innovation opportunities,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
The 72 projects will cover all eight sections of the EU’s Green Deal, which range from clean energy to resource-efficient buildings, zero pollution, sustainable mobility and more ambitious climate policies.
The €1bn is being by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme and was launched on 17 September 2020.
By the deadline for submissions on 26 January, 2021, the European Commission had received 1,550 eligible proposals, an unprecedented response from the research community and the private sector.
As well as research projects, the EU is due to unveil its plans for a carbon price, called the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), in July.
This would require non-EU CO2 emitters to buy carbon credits on similar lines to the EU’s current Emissions Trading System (ETS) in order to avoid unfair competition.
While the EU is setting some of the world’s most stringent emissions reductions targets, and enforcing them with such tools as the EU Emissions Trading System ETS, European companies are exposing themselves to competition from non-EU companies that neither have to pay for emissions credits, nor invest in reducing their CO2 output.
The European Green Deal aims to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, and aims to develop policies in all areas of the economy, including environmentally friendly technologies, cleaner transport, decarbonising the energy sector and improving global environmental standards.