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Why a Grand Societal Challenge?

Meeting the commitments for fighting global warming and avoiding the worst impacts of climate change will require developed countries to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions. Europe keeps this aim high in its agenda, setting climate action in combination with resource and raw materials management as a major challenge for society. Cost-effective and sustainable adaptation/ mitigation measures in the context of climate change are urgently needed and only possible through the advancement of technological and non-technological green solutions.

Specific activities outlined

  • Fighting and adapting to climate change
    • Improve the understanding of climate change and the provision of reliable climate projections
    • Assess impacts, vulnerabilities and develop innovative cost-effective adaptation and risk prevention measures
    • Support mitigation policies
  • Sustainably managing natural resources and ecosystems
    • Further our understanding of the functioning of ecosystems, their interactions with social systems and their role in sustaining the economy and human well-being.
    • Provide knowledge and tools for effective decision making and public engagement
  • Ensuring the sustainable supply of non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials
    • Improve the knowledge base on the availability of raw materials
    • Promote the sustainable supply and use of raw materials, covering exploration, extraction, processing, recycling and recovery
    • Find alternatives for critical raw materials
    • Improve societal awareness and skills on raw materials
  • Enabling the transition towards a green economy through eco-innovation
    • Strengthen eco-innovative technologies, processes, services and products and boost their market uptake
    • Support innovative policies and societal changes
    • Measure and assess progress towards a green economy
    • Foster resource efficiency through digital systems
  • Developing comprehensive and sustained global environmental observation and information systems
  • Specific implementation aspects.

Documents and Materials

  • the European Commission’s communication on the challenge
  • reports on the (advisory/ consultation) workshops on the Horizon 2020 Common Strategic Framework (joint report)
    • June 21 2011: with the scientific community (summary report)
    • July 15 2011: with government representatives.

Extra links