green deal covid, European Green Deal Call
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The European Green Deal Call has opened for registrations to spur Europe’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis by turning green challenges into innovation opportunities

The European Commission announced it would provide €1 billion in funding for research and innovation projects that respond to the climate crisis and help protect Europe’s unique ecosystems and biodiversity.

The European Green Deal Call is funded by Horizon 2020 and aims to respond to the urgency and ambition of the European Green Deal objectives.

It is hoped that the funding from the European Green Deal Call will not only inspire innovation projects that aim to protect the natural world but will also aid with the green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “The €1 billion European Green Deal Call is the last and biggest call under Horizon 2020. With innovation at its heart, this investment will accelerate a just and sustainable transition to a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

“As we do not want anyone left behind in this systemic transformation, we call for specific actions to engage with citizens in novel ways and improve societal relevance and impact.”

This European Green Deal Call differs in important aspects from previous Horizon 2020 calls. Given the urgency of the challenges it addresses, it aims for clear, apparent results in the short to medium-term, but with a perspective of long-term change.

There are also fewer, but more targeted, larger and visible actions, with a focus on rapid scalability, dissemination and uptake.

The projects funded under this call are expected to deliver results with tangible benefits in ten.

There are eight thematic areas reflecting the key work streams of the European Green Deal…

  1. Increasing climate ambition
  2. Clean, affordable and secure energy
  3. Industry for a clean and circular economy
  4. Energy and resource efficient buildings
  5. Sustainable and smart mobility
  6. Farm to fork
  7. Biodiversity and ecosystems
  8. Zero-pollution, toxic-free environments

…and two horizontal areas

  1. strengthening knowledge, and
  2. empowering citizens

The last two horizontal areas offer a longer-term perspective in achieving the transformations set out in the European Green Deal.

Despite 2020s unprecedented setbacks such as COVID-19, updated progress on the European Green Deal is being made. As well as the announcement for €1 billion funding for innovation and research projects, there has also been the recent adoption of a new Circular Economy Action Plan.

The €1 billion investment will continue building Europe’s knowledge systems and infrastructures. The call includes opportunities for international cooperation in addressing the needs of less-developed nations, particularly in Africa, in the context of the Paris Agreement as well as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The deadline for submissions is 26 January 2021, with selected projects expected to start in autumn 2021.

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