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. 

The dedicated funding for climate action and resource efficiency will be complemented through the other specific objectives of Horizon 2020 with the result that at least 60 % of the total Horizon 2020 budget will be related to sustainable development, the vast majority of this expenditure contributing to mutually reinforcing climate and environmental objectives. It is expected that around 35% of the Horizon 2020 budget will be climate related expenditure.

Funding will focus on the following challenges:

  • Health, demographic change and wellbeing;
  • Food security, sustainable agriculture and forestry, marine and maritime and inland water research, and the bioeconomy;
  • Secure, clean and efficient energy;
  • Smart, green and integrated transport;
  • Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials;
  • Europe in a changing world - inclusive, innovative and reflective societies;
  • Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

The Commission, as part of the implementation of the Adaptation Strategy, is working in refining key knowledge gaps with regards to adaptation. The findings will be fed into the programming of Horizon 2020.

The current Work Programme for H2020 covers 2014 and 2015.  Adaptation to climate change is most represented in two societal societal challenges.

Climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

The main topics where climate change impacts and adaptation are:

  • WATER-2-2014/2015: Integrated approaches to water and climate change
  • WATER-5-2014/2015: Strengthening international R&I cooperation in the field of water
  • SC5-1 and SC5-2-2014/2015: Climate Services for Europe and globally
  • a) SC5-1-2014: High resolution Earth-system models
  • b) SC5-2-2015: ERA for Climate Services
  • SC5-3-2014: The economics of climate change and linkages with sustainable development
  • SC5-5-2014/2015: Coordinating and supporting research and innovation for climate action
  • SC5-6-2014: Biodiversity and ecosystem services: drivers of change and causalities
  • SC5-10-2014/2015: Coordinating and supporting research and innovation for the management of natural resources
  • SC5-18-2014/2015: Coordinating and supporting Earth Observation research and innovation in Europe and in the North African, Middle East, and Balkan region
  • SC5-19-2014/2015: Coordinating and supporting research and innovation in the area of climate action, environment, resource efficiency and raw materials

Secure societies - protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens.

The main topics where climate change impacts and adaptation are presented:

  • DRS 7 – 2014: Crisis management topic 7: Crises and disaster resilience – operationalizing resilience concepts
  • DRS 9 -2014-2015: Disaster Resilience & Climate Change topic 1: Science and innovation for adaptation to climate change: from assessing costs, risks and opportunities to demonstration of options and practices
  • DRS 10 – 2014: Disaster Resilience & Climate Change topic 2: Natural Hazards: Towards risk reduction plans at national and European level
  • DRS 11 – 2015: Disaster Resilience & Climate Change topic 3: Limiting the impacts of climate change and natural hazards on cultural heritage sites, structures and artefacts
  • DRS 13 – 2015: Critical Infrastructure Protection topic 2: Demonstration activity on tools for adapting building and infrastructure standards and design methodologies in vulnerable locations in the case of natural catastrophes
  • DRS 14 – 2015: Critical Infrastructure Protection topic 3: Critical Infrastructure resilience indicator - analysis and development of methods for assessing resilience

Other societal challenges also integrate the introduction of climate change and its effects as a research topic:

Health, Demographic Change and Wellbeing

  • PHC 4 – 2015: Health promotion and disease prevention: improved inter-sector co-operation for environment and health based interventions
  • PHC 32 – 2014: Foresight for health policy development and regulation

Food Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Forestry, Marine, Maritime and Inland Water Research and the Bioeconomy

  • SFS 1 - 2014/2015: Sustainable livestock production
  • SFS 2 - 2014/2015: Sustainable crop production
  • SFS 3 - 2014: Practical solutions for pests and invasive alien species affecting plants
  • SFS 5 - 2015: Strategies for crop productivity and stability
  • SFS 6 - 2014: Sustainable intensification pathways of agro-food systems in Africa
  • SFS 8 - 2014/2015: Resource-efficient eco-innovative food production and processing
  • SFS 10 - 2014/2015: Tackling disease related challenges and threats of European farmed aquatic animals
  • SFS 11 - 2014/2015: Implementation of an Ecosystem-based approach for European aquaculture
  • SFS 13 - 2015: Biological contamination of crops and the food chain
  • SFS 18 - 2014: Sustainable food and nutrition security through evidence based EU agro-food policies
  • BG 1 - 2015: Improving the preservation and sustainable exploitation of Atlantic marine ecosystems
  • BG 2 - 2015: Forecasting and anticipating effects of climate change on fisheries and aquaculture
  • BG 5 - 2014: Preparing for the future innovative offshore economy
  • BG 8 - 2014: Developing in-situ Atlantic Ocean Observations for a better management and exploitation of the maritime resources
  • BG 13 - 2014 Ocean literacy – Engaging with society – Social Innovation
  • BG 15 - 2014: European polar research cooperation
  • ISIB 4 - 2014/2015: Improved data and management models for sustainable forestry
  • ISIB 11 - 2014: Coordination action in support of the implementation by participating States of a Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change
  • ISIB 12 - 2015: Public-Public Partnerships in the bioeconomy

Secure, Clean and Efficient Energy

  • SCC 1 – 2014/2015: Smart Cities and Communities solutions integrating energy, transport, ICT sectors through lighthouse (large scale demonstration - first of the kind) projects

Smart, green and integrated transport

  • MG.8.4-2015. Smart governance, network resilience and streamlined delivery of infrastructure innovation

Other H2020 areas that can be relevant for climate change adaptation comprehend:


European Research Infrastructures, including e-Infrastructures

Industrial leadership calls

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