Horizon Europe Missions: Adaptation to Climate Change

​Further to the recent update on the development of Horizon Europe Missions and the new UKRO Factsheet on Missions, UKRO can now share some more detailed information on the progress of each individual Mission Board. This article is part of a series of insights into progress made by individual Horizon Europe Mission Boards.

UKRO understands that all Mission Boards have been asked, in addition to their existing briefs, to update their work to reflect the current situation caused by COVID-19. While no concrete call topics are available yet, each of the five Missions are making progress by narrowing down areas, developing scoping papers and engaging with stakeholders and citizens during this period. The Mission Boards also have to explore synergies with other Missions, within and beyond Horizon Europe. It is expected that a report of initial results to the European Commission will be available in May or June.

Mission area: Adaptation to climate change including societal transformation

The last meeting of this Mission Board (five in total to date) was in late March, where the scoping paper for the Mission was further refined and endorsed. As it stands, the goal of this Mission is to contribute to the transition to a resilient Europe. Its objective will be to greatly increase resilience and capacities to cope with unavoidable impacts of climate change, and to accelerate transformative change to build a better future in a number of pilot regions and communities.

UKRO understands that the Mission will focus on the most fundamental systems, and that, in addition to reducing climate-related risks and impacts, the Mission will also aim to support regions:

  • to harness the power of nature by restoring ecosystems, protecting nature and valuing its benefits;
  • to embrace the new realities for water by proactively managing too little and/or too much water;
  • to sustain the productivity of rural landscapes by shifting to sustainable agricultural production and consumption;
  • to strengthen social infrastructure by renovating public spaces and facilities to ensure sustainable neighbourhoods; and
  • to safeguard human health and wellbeing by preparing communities to stay healthy in a changing climate.

The Mission Board has met with the Member States sub-group in early 2020 and UKRO understands that the next meeting is due to be in early May. The Mission board has also undertaken some outreach activities, including events in Spain, Austria and Italy and is planning a number of online events – including one with the European Youth Forum on 13 May.

In terms of synergies, the Mission Board has identified areas such as agriculture production (Soils), Water (Oceans), Health and Wellbeing (Cancer), but also sees likely links with the Mission on Cities and a number of other EU programmes including in cohesion policy, rural development and with the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Other programmes with synergies will be the Programme for Small and Medium-sized enterprises (COSME), the Digital Europe and the LIFE Programme.

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