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Horizon 2020 is the financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe's global competitiveness. Horizon 2020 reflects the policy priorities of the Europe 2020 strategy and addresses major concerns shared by citizens in Europe and elsewhere, through a challenge-based approach. 

Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020) – in addition to the private investment that this money will attract. Find information on H2020 funding and tender opportunities here.

It is expected that around 35% of the Horizon 2020 budget will be climate-related expenditure. Climate change adaptation is most frequently addressed in the societal challenge on climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials.

Climate actions under the work programme for 2018-2020 aim to produce solutions for the achievement of the Paris Agreement mitigation and adaptation goals, and to further relevant scientific knowledge for the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Actions also support relevant EU policies and objectives, such as the Energy Union, Arctic policy, EU Adaptation Strategy and EU climate diplomacy efforts. Special consideration will be given to cooperation with strategic partner countries/regions. Specific efforts have to be paid to communicating research results to a broader audience, including the larger public.

For adaptation, the following are the broad focus areas:

  • Climate risk assessments and modelling
  • Economics of climate change
  • Climate services
  • Nature-based solutions for climate change adaptation
  • Disaster risk resilience

Adaptation-relevant objectives are also found in other global challenges:

  • Secure societies - Protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens (climate-related disaster risk prevention)
  • Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing (environmental determinants, infectious diseases)
  • Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy (sustainable agriculture and forestry)

The European Commission proposal for the new Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation from 2021 to 2027 continues with the priority to implement the Paris Agreement.