WUR study examines trade-offs and synergies between the SDGs for climate change mitigation scenarios
The Wageningen Economic Research, part of the Wageningen University and Research (WUR), jointly conducted a study with the Joint Research Centre (JRC) and the Research institutes of ARAID-CITA. The study examines the trade-offs and synergies between the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for three different climate change mitigation scenarios up to 2050.
The analysis recognises that the sustainable pathways would bring undisputable benefits in terms of lower global temperature rises, lower pressure on land and water use, and improvements in ecosystem services and biodiversity.
- Developing countries cannot afford to tackle climate change without partnership assistance and knowledge transfer from richer regions
- The study calls for integrated decision-making where interlinkages between economic, societal and environmental factors are taken into consideration.
The AfriAlliance project is an example of integrated cooperation and decision-making. The project takes EU-Africa cooperation to a practical level by having African and European stakeholders work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development. Demand-driven, problem-focused action groups are sharing knowledge between the identified stakeholders and networks at all levels to identify and address vulnerabilities effectively.
Water and climate change research and social innovation (R&I) cooperation between Africa and Europe are being reinforced through a combination of forward-looking and bottom-up innovation and road mapping techniques.
Click here to find more information about the study.Read More
This month, the European Commission has launched the first call for proposals under the Innovation Fund, one of the world’s largest programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies, financed by revenues from the auction of emission allowances from the EU’s Emissions Trading System.
The Innovation Fund will finance breakthrough technologies for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage. It will provide a boost to the green recovery by creating local future-proof jobs, paving the way to climate neutrality and reinforcing European technological leadership on a global scale.
For the period 2020-2030, the Innovation Fund will allocate around €10 billion from the auctioning of allowances under the EU Emissions Trading System, in addition to undisbursed revenues from the Innovation Fund’s predecessor, the NER 300 programme.
The first call will provide grant funding of €1 billion to large-scale projects for clean technologies to help them overcome the risks linked to commercialisation and large-scale demonstration. This support will help new technologies to reach the market. For promising projects which are not yet ready for the market, a separate budget of €8 million is set aside for project development assistance.
The call is open for projects in eligible sectors from all EU Member States, Iceland and Norway. The funds can be used in cooperation with other public funding initiatives, such as State aid or other EU funding programmes. Projects will be evaluated according to their potential to avoid greenhouse gas emission, innovation potential, financial and technical maturity, and potential for scaling up and cost-efficiency.
Click here for more information.Read More
To respond to the urgency and ambition of the European Green Deal (EDG) objectives, Horizon 2020 will soon launch the last call for proposal worth about €1 billion: the Green Deal Call (GDC). The Call will be opening in mid-September and will close at the end of January 2021.
The structure of the Green Deal Call reflects the eight key EGD policy areas and is complemented by three horizontal areas (strengthening knowledge; empowering citizens and international cooperation), which cut across the eight areas and offer a longer-term perspective in support of the transformations required by the EDG, for which water will play an essential role. In the past months, WE supported the development of GDC to ensure that suitable resources are allocated to the water sector and GDC will be a key player for the next Water Knowledge Europe 2020.
The Green Deal Call aims to produce tangible results and impact – visible to the citizens – in a relatively short time frame. Proposed actions (only single-stage calls) will support primarily pilot applications, demonstration projects and innovative products, innovation for better governance of the green and digital transition, social and value chain innovation.
- Mid-September – Adoption of the WP by the Commission and call opening
- End of January 2021 – Expected closing of the call
- Q4 2021 – Signature of grant agreements
From the 22 to 24 September 2020, the EC will organize the Research & Innovation Days 2020 edition which will include the GDC. Stay tuned for more information via this link.Read More
Sixteen Working Groups meetings took place during the Innovative Water Week week of Water Innovation Europe 2020. Leaders and co-leaders gathered with their WG members to discuss their annual plans, upcoming activities and the development of white papers. Read some of their highlights below:
WG Resource Recovery: The Working Group Resource Recovery kicked off the work on a white paper dealing with End of Waste. Among the participants of the meeting were also present Mattia Pellegrini and Carmen Mena Abela from the European Commission.
WG Water & ΙCT: The WG discussed around actions concerning the definition of an ICT reference architecture supporting the uptake of disruptive technologies like AI in the water sector. Data Sharing is recognised as the main enabler and a key challenge to overcome.
WG Urban Water Pollution: During the WG meeting, an update was given on two initiatives for sampling and monitoring SARS-CoV-2 RNA fragments in wastewater: The NORMAN-Score project and the JRC feasibility assessment.
WG Water Security: The agenda included an overview of progress and current update on the White Paper on Water Security. The overarching aim of this White Paper on Water Security is to provide an overview of the current state-of-knowledge on the concept of Water Security and assessing existing methodologies for creating action perspectives.Read More
This month, the European Commission has opened new public consultations on different fields. You can find below the list with the key areas and their deadlines:
Cybersecurity – review of EU rules on the security of network and information systems. The roadmap’s deadline is the 15th of August, and the consultation’s one, the 2nd of October.
Pharmaceuticals – safe and affordable medicines (new EU strategy). Feedback period for the consultation is open until the 15th of September.
Adapting to climate change – EU strategy. The deadline for this public consultation is the 20th of August.Read More
The European Commission has set itself the ambition to tackle the risks of climate change and environmentally related challenges in the new European Green Deal. The Deal acts as a roadmap to transform Europe into resource efficient, competitive economy. Greenhouse gases emissions will be net zero, economic growth will be decoupled from resources use and no person should be left behind.
One of the programmes under the Green Deal is the Zero Pollution strategy. This includes Clean Water to preserve biodiversity in lakes, rivers, wetlands and coastal waters, reduce pollution from agriculture and urban areas, and reduce harmful pollution from chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pathogens and micro-plastics. The recent fitness checks of the European Water Directives has shown that the Directives are largely fit for purpose, but it also gave evidence that there is still room for improvement on chemicals in water.
Finally, the recent approval of the Water Reuse Regulation by the European Parliament will enable increase water reuse, which will affect pollution pathways. Within this context, the Water Europe Working Groups on Urban Water Pollution, Contaminants of Emerging Concern, and Bathing Waters took the initiative to develop a White Paper to contribute to the development of European policies and the research and innovation agenda of the European Commission.
For this White Paper, your inputs are needed and therefore a short questionnaire has been created that will help the WGs to shape the contents of the document. Your input is requested before 15 August 2020. Afterwards a first draft of the White Paper will be developed and presented at the Water Knowledge Europe 2020 event, happening in autumn this year.Read More
On the 23rd of June, the European Commission announced that the Water Framework Directive and its daughters will not be revised. The priority substances and the groundwater annexes might be updated. This decision is in opposition with the Committee of the Regions which adopted unanimously the opinion to support the revision of the Water Framework Directive.
Last month, the European Parliament also voted a resolution in line with our Water Europe position to not open the Water Framework Directive. The European Parliament stressed out the importance of this directive for adequate governance of the water management, although it also recognizes that the framework has not yet achieved the goal mainly due to the inadequate funding, and so there is need to improve and speed up its implementation. The Chamber also calls the Commission to support Member States by implementing their water directives and by encouraging EU countries to apply for funds to support environmental concerns through innovation and nature-based solutions.
Based on our position, Water Europe (WE) actively participates in the “Water Is everyone’s business” coalition. WE supports the preservation of high standards and strongly encourages for a better implementation of the EU legislation to reach the objectives in terms of freshwater governance. Water Europe hosted a webinar on that topic during WIE 2020. Only by achieving a Water-Smart Society aware of the true value of water and its adequate management, we will be able to address other strategies such as the Biodiversity and Farm to Fork, achieving the goals of the Green Deal for a sustainable Europe in 2050.Read More
The Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) will host a webinar on the 14th of July about the application process of the first call of the Innovation Fund. The webinar is taking place from 14.00 to 16.00 CET and it will be webstreamed (no registration needed).
During the webinar, participants will learn more about the key features of the call, receive a step by step of the the application forms and get answers from their questions.
You can already ask questions via Slido using the event code #IF1C.
Click here for more information.
About the Innovation Fund
The Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies.
The Innovation Fund focuses on:
- Innovative low-carbon technologies and processes in energy intensive industries, including products substituting carbon intensive ones
- Carbon capture and utilisation (CCU)
- Construction and operation of carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- Innovative renewable energy generation
- Energy storage
The Innovation Fund is a key funding instruments for delivering the EU’s economy-wide commitments under the Paris Agreement and its objective to be climate neutral Europe by 2050, as recognised also in the European Green Deal Investment Plan.
The first call for proposals under the Innovation Fund contributes to the green recovery of the EU economy by helping businesses invest in clean energy and clean industry to boost economic growth, create local jobs and give a competitive advantage to EU industry.Read More
Given the exceptional situation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, the European Week of Regions and Cities will spread over three consecutive weeks in October 2020, each dedicated to one timely topic:
5-9 October: Empowering Citizens,
12-16 October: Cohesion and cooperation,
19-22 October: Green Europe, in cooperation with the Green Week.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the related health and safety measures, the majority of the 500 sessions will be in a fully digital format.
Among the exceptions are key events and workshops requiring interpretation, which are going to be organized in a hybrid format (online with a limited physical presence). Some events such as exhibitions and regional tastings can be either digital or physical.
Registration for the 18th European Week of Regions and Cities will open on 27 August 2020.
Click here for more information.Read More
Water Europe is pleased to announce the composition of its Board of Directors for the period 2020-2021. The Annual General Meeting was held in the context of the digital edition of Water Innovation Europe 2020 conference on the 24th of June 2020.
The Board of Directors is the Water Europe’s deliberative and decision-making body with representatives from all five corporate membership colleges. In line with the new governance adopted at the general meeting, five Vice-Presidents will be elected by the board in September 2020 where they will be given different portfolios according to the main priorities of Water Europe.
To discover Water Europe’s decision-making body, please click here.Read More