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Next generation low-emission, climate-resilient pathways and NDCs for a future aligned with the Paris Agreement
Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality
Estimated EU contribution per project
Link to the call
Link to the submission
Projects should contribute to strengthening of national climate policies, NDCs and long-term strategies, by developing next generation low-emission transformation pathways, with increased sectoral detail, and fostering more holistic and more integrative approaches that promote synergies and minimise trade-offs between mitigation, adaptation, biodiversity and other policy objectives. They should support the creation of tools that evaluate the existing NDCs and facilitate monitoring processes.
As showcased by various independent assessments, the current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and climate policies fall short of reaching the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement. Strengthening is necessary to close the ambition and implementation gaps, and to align national climate action with global objectives, while simultaneously achieving the broader Sustainable Development Goals and social welfare.
Moreover, while countries have put forward plans, strategies, and announcements to reach “net-zero” targets, these commitments are hard to compare due to varying definitions, ranging from “zero-carbon” to “net-zero CO2” and “net-zero greenhouse gases” whereas choosing different gases, different (time)scales and different aggregation methods can lead to very different climate outcomes. To address these concerns, actions should define principles for high-integrity, more coherent climate commitments and review processes.
Projects should address some of the following aspects in their research:
- Development of sectoral climate transition scenarios (energy production, transport, industry, buildings, food/agriculture etc.).
- Increase the understanding of the role of ecosystems, in particular land use, in NDCs and other climate commitments identifying options for enhancing transparency and coherence with global models and pathways.
- Enhance knowledge about the role of non-CO2 gases in meeting the temperature goals of the Paris Agreement and the implications for the transition pathways of countries and sectors.
- Improve the integration of climate impacts and risks in mitigation pathway analysis, including cost-benefit analysis.
- Advance knowledge on adequacy and fairness of climate commitments and strategies, taking into consideration feasibility of actual deployment. This should include, but not be limited to, the analysis of the role and effectiveness of international financial flows in delivering on climate goals together with identification of most impactful approaches.
- Improve understanding of how corporate and non-state commitments could affect national/regional mitigation pathways, for example through their effect on global supply chains.
Co-creation with various stakeholders in the private and public sectors is expected under this topic to ensure that the outcomes produced remain relevant for their end-users. Actions should contribute to improving accessibility of climate change scenarios and models by non-specialist audiences, for example through development and delivery of dedicated services and tools that facilitate user-friendly access and proper use.
Actions may cover a set of regions or be focussed on a specific one and explore it in greater detail. However, in all cases consortia should benchmark their results with global mitigation pathways.
International cooperation is encouraged, in particular with countries of the African Union and least developed countries requiring support for the design and implementation of their NDCs and long-term strategies, as well as with countries making part of the global top ten emitters.
Synergies with projects resulting from the topic D1-9. 2023 - Science for successful, high-integrity voluntary climate initiatives should be established as regards the role of non-state voluntary climate initiatives in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, and with projects resulting from the Horizon 2020 topic LC-CLA-02-2019 -Negative emissions and land-use based mitigation assessment as regards latest methodological developments.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines including ethics and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond model documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles. In particular, beneficiaries are required to publish data and results in open access databases and/or as annexes to publications. Projects should also take into account, during their lifetime, relevant activities and initiatives for ensuring and improving the quality of scientific software and code, such as those resulting from projects funded under the topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-02 on the development of community-based approaches.
Projects results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:
- Methodologies and approaches to promote improved transparency, consistency, and clarity of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction commitments.
- Production of more diversified, granular, and customised state-of-the-art pathways consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement at global, national and sectoral levels in a diverse selection of countries, better reflecting different national circumstances and constraints and promoting synergies between climate action and other policy objectives.
- Science-based evaluation of selected existing pathways, policies, and measures to implement NDCs and Long-Term Strategies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Extended use of modelling, climate change scenarios and mitigation pathways based on provision of tailor-made tools, trainings, and services to end-users.
- Enhanced international cooperation on identification and implementation of effective mitigation strategies that are aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
- Improved knowledge base to inform the UNFCCC processes, including the design and revision of post-2030 NDCs and the Global Stocktake in 2028, as well as major international scientific assessments such as the IPCC and IPBES reports.
Regions / countries for funding
Moldova (Moldova), Albania (Shqipëria), Armenia (Հայաստան), Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan), Belarus (Беларусь), Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosna i Hercegovina / Босна и Херцеговина), Faeroes (Føroyar / Færøerne), Georgia (საქართველო), Island (Ísland), Israel (ישראל / إِسْرَائِيل), Kosovo (Kosova/Kosovë / Косово), Montenegro (Црна Гора), Morocco (المغرب), New Zealand (Aotearoa), North Macedonia (Северна Македонија), Norway (Norge), Serbia (Srbija/Сpбија), Tunisia (تونس /Tūnis), Türkiye, Ukraine (Україна), United Kingdom
Education and training institution, International organization, Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) / Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Other, Private institution, incl. private company (private for profit), Public Body (national, regional and local; incl. EGTCs), Research Institution incl. University, Small and medium-sized enterprise (SME)
To be eligible for funding, applicants must be established in one of the following countries:
- the Member States of the European Union, including their outermost regions
- the Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) linked to the Member States
- third countries associated to Horizon Europe - see list of particpating countries
Only legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes, as beneficiaries, three legal entities independent from each other and each established in a different country as follows:
- at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State; and
- at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Any legal entity, regardless of its place of establishment, including legal entities from non-associated third countries or international organisations (including international European research organisations) is eligible to participate (whether it is eligible for funding or not), provided that the conditions laid down in the Horizon Europe Regulation have been met, along with any other conditions laid down in the specific call topic.
A ‘legal entity’ means any natural or legal person created and recognised as such under national law, EU law or international law, which has legal personality and which may, acting in its own name, exercise rights and be subject to obligations, or an entity without legal personality.
- Affiliated entities — Affiliated entities (i.e. entities with a legal or capital link to a beneficiary which participate in the action with similar rights and obligations to the beneficiaries, but which do not sign the grant agreement and therefore do not become beneficiaries themselves) are allowed, if they are eligible for participation and funding.
- Associated partners — Associated partners (i.e. entities which participate in the action without signing the grant agreement, and without the right to charge costs or claim contributions) are allowed, subject to any conditions regarding associated partners set out in the specific call conditions.
- Entities without legal personality — Entities which do not have legal personality under their national law may exceptionally participate, provided that their representatives have the capacity to undertake legal obligations on their behalf, and offer guarantees to protect the EU’s financial interests equivalent to those offered by legal persons.
- EU bodies — Legal entities created under EU law including decentralised agencies may be part of the consortium, unless provided for otherwise in their basic act.
- Joint Research Centre (‘JRC’)— Where provided for in the specific call conditions, applicants may include in their proposals the possible contribution of the JRC but the JRC will not participate in the preparation and submission of the proposal. Applicants will indicate the contribution that the JRC could bring to the project based on the scope of the topic text. After the evaluation process, the JRC and the consortium selected for funding may come to an agreement on the specific terms of the participation of the JRC. If an agreement is found, the JRC may accede to the grant agreement as beneficiary requesting zero funding or participate as an associated partner, and would accede to the consortium as a member.
- Associations and interest groupings — Entities composed of members (e.g. European research infrastructure consortia (ERICs)) may participate as ‘sole beneficiaries’ or ‘beneficiaries without legal personality’. However, if the action is in practice implemented by the individual members, those members should also participate (either as beneficiaries or as affiliated entities, otherwise their costs will NOT be eligible.
other eligibility criteria
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional obligations regarding open science practices: Open access to any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding under the action must be ensured through documentation, availability of model code and input data developed under the action.
Relevance for EU Macro-Region
EUSAIR - EU Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region, EUSALP - EU Strategy for the Alpine Space, EUSBSR - EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region, EUSDR - EU Strategy for the Danube Region
UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs)
All proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funders & Tenders Portal electronic submission system (accessible via the topic page in the Search Funding & Tenders section). Paper submissions are NOT possible.
Proposals must be complete and contain all parts and mandatory annexes and supporting documents, e.g. plan for the exploitation and dissemination of the results including communication activities, etc.
The application form will have two parts:
- Part A (to be filled in directly online) contains administrative information about the applicant organisations (future coordinator and beneficiaries and affiliated entities), the summarised budget for the proposal and call-specific questions;
- Part B (to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and then assembled and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system) contains the technical description of the project.
Annexes and supporting documents will be directly available in the submission system and must be uploaded as PDF files (or other formats allowed by the system).
The limit for a full application (Part B) is 45 pages.