Research and innovation for achieving emissions goals

A panel of independent experts on decarbonisation has published a report on the role of research and innovation in achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement, as well as the R&I priorities that will put the EU at a competitive advantage in the decarbonisation race. The members of the High-Level Panel of the European Decarbonisation Pathways Initiative acted as advisors to Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.

Commissioner Moedas said: “Climate action requires ambition. Nothing short of immediate action leading to net-zero emissions by 2050 will suffice. More and better focused R&I is a necessary condition to reach our long term climate targets and maintain our standard of living.”

The Panel recommends that the European Commission:

  • engage in a race to the top in innovation for decarbonisation, searching for new alternatives;
  • give priority to zero-carbon solutions that have the potential to be developed and deployed within the 2050 timeframe;
  • explore and develop portfolios of zero-carbon technologies, promoting diversification, and reducing the risk of too-early and risky choices;
  • emphasise system-level innovation, promoting sector-coupling so that the individual elements of decarbonisation fit together in a coherent whole;
  • focus investments in the high added-value segments of the value chains;
  • engage in smart international cooperation for zero-carbon innovation.

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