EU-China international cooperation on data and model development for pathways to carbon neutrality: focusing on decarbonisation, energy efficiency a…
The EU and China have committed to become climate neutral (by 2050) and carbon neutral (by 2060), respectively. Successful proposal(s) will support the transition to a climate neutral and resilient society as part of the EU-China Climate Change and Biodiversity Research Flagship (CCB Flagship).
Actions are expected to contribute to all of the following outcomes:
- Improved knowledge and mutual learning in potential pathways towards carbon neutrality and renewable transition to support achieving both regions’ climate targets.
- Overview of promising options and associated benefits and challenges in the short, medium and long-term that are necessary to achieve these climate goals.
- Achieved joint of state-of-the-art modelling and dialogue among relevant experts in the two regions. Scope :
The topic aims at developing a state-of-the-art modelling framework that includes up-to-date representation of technologies and policies in different pathways that lead to climate neutrality from a holistic and sectoral perspective. Successful proposal(s) should include joint work by European and Chinese experts aimed at informing the achievement of each country’s long-term decarbonisation goal. Actions under this call should consider deep reductions and pathways to net zero incorporating mitigation of both CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions.
Actions should focus on all of the following main areas (the individual bullets are indicative suggestions for focus within each area):
a) Energy efficiency and decarbonisation
- Adapted models to reflect state-of-the-art greenhouse gas emission data.
- Opportunities for decarbonisation of industry and agriculture, for reducing net emissions related to land use, and for mitigation of non-CO2 greenhouse gases. Evaluate the mitigation potential, co-benefits and side effects, and cost-effectiveness of selected technologies in key industries and their potential contribution to a sustainable, secure and affordable transition.
- Improving energy efficiency, including through electrification in industrial processes, transport and heating systems, as well as for buildings (including through improved design and construction, retrofitting, establishing or improving energy management systems).
- Transformation of energy and transport infrastructure to accommodate zero-carbon technologies and smart demand and to guarantee the reliability of the energy and manufacturing systems.
- CCUS technology to improve the efficacy of CO2 capture and the understanding of storage potential and security in key regions and in industries.
- Improved knowledge concerning the policies needed to ensure the transformation of the different sectors from fossil fuel-based to net-zero carbon emitters.
b) Socio-economic implications
- Socio-economic challenges and opportunities in the transition to climate neutrality, including the transformation of the labour market and the distributional repercussions for different sectors, social groups and regions.
- Consequences of the green transition for human welfare, including on health.
- Opportunities and challenges related to consumer behaviour and lifestyle changes (e.g. consumer choices, changes in ways of living and working).
- Global implications of EU and China decarbonisation (e.g. through trade and commodity markets, impacts on climate action in third countries).
c) Dissemination and stakeholder engagement
- Strong component of engagement, in terms of co-design and co-creation of the pathways, with public and private sector stakeholders in both regions, in particular with groups whose actions will be key to implementing and achieving the transition.
This topic is part of the EU-China flagship initiative on Climate Change and Biodiversity, which will promote substantial coordinated and balanced cooperation between the EU and China, and is within the scope of the Administrative Arrangement between the European Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST) on a Co-funding Mechanism for the period 2021-2024 to support collaborative research projects under the Climate Change and Biodiversity (CCB) and the Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies (FAB) flagship initiatives.
Interactions with other actions developed under the EU-China Climate Change and Biodiversity Research Flagship and/or the Flagship on Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies are encouraged.
The envisaged knowledge relates only to policy, modelling and pathways definition and planning. Development of specific technologies above TRL 4 are out of the scope of this topic.
- Build on existing modelling work in both regions that has identified credible pathways to net zero emissions, continuing to develop and refine such pathways.
- Ensure that EU and China pathways fit into a consistent global framework (e.g. in terms of global carbon budget and use of scarce commodities).
- Focus on key milestones and enabling conditions needed in the short-term (e.g. by 2030, 2035) and medium-term (e.g. by 2040) to achieve each region’s net zero goals. Such milestones and conditions are not limited to emissions levels but can include technological roadmaps for key regions and industries, as well as, regulatory, market penetration and socio-economic developments.
- Consider different geographical scales and the role of cities in the transition pathways.
- Feature a combination of integrated assessment modelling (to demonstrate that pathways are coherent and comprehensive) and other more granular techniques to explore specific transformation options in detail.
- Include stakeholder engagement activities aimed at linking the vision set out in pathways with the actions needed to achieve them (e.g. How mature does a certain technology have to be by when? Is this achievable?).
When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles. In particular, beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to publish results data in open access databases and/or as annexes to publications. In addition, full openness of any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding is expected. Projects should take into account, during their lifetime, relevant activities and initiatives for ensuring and improving the quality of scientific software and code, such as those resulting from projects funded under the topic HORIZON-INFRA-2023-EOSC-01-02 on the development of community-based approaches.
This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.
 FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, Reusable).
- Admissibility conditions: described in Annex A and Annex E of the Horizon Europe Work Programme General Annexes
Proposal page limits and layout: described in Part B of the Application Form available in the Submission System
- Eligible countries: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon Europe projects. See the information in the Horizon Europe Programme Guide .
- Other eligibility conditions: described in Annex B of the Work Programme General Annexes
Following the Council Implementing Decision (EU) 2022/2506 , as of 16 th December 2022, no legal commitments (including the grant agreement itself as well as subcontracts, purchase contracts, financial support to third parties etc.) can be signed with Hungarian public interest trusts established under Hungarian Act IX of 2021 or any entity they maintain. Affected entities may continue to apply to calls for proposals. However, in case the Council measures are not lifted, such entities are not eligible to participate in any funded role (beneficiaries, affiliated entities, subcontractors, recipients of financial support to third parties). In this case, co-applicants will be invited to remove or replace that entity and/or to change its status into associated partner. Tasks and budget may be redistributed accordingly.
If projects use satellite-based earth observation, positioning, navigation and/or related timing data and services, beneficiaries must make use of Copernicus and/or Galileo/EGNOS (other data and services may additionally be used).
In order to achieve the expected outcomes and to implement the Climate Change and Biodiversity Flagship in compliance with the provisions of the Administrative Arrangement between the European Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China (MOST) on a Co-funding Mechanism for the period 2021-2024 to support Collaborative Research and Innovation projects under the “Food, Agriculture and Biotechnologies”, and the “Climate Change and Biodiversity” Joint Flagship Initiatives”, and in accordance with the requirements of the Inter-governmental Science and Technology Innovation (STI) Cooperation Special Programme of MOST.
- Consortia must also include as associated partners at least three independent legal entities established in China.
- Legal entities established in China can only participate as associated partners; and
- Chinese participants must be awarded co-funding by MOST *.
*This condition will not be fulfilled if, at the time of grant agreement signature, the Chinese participants have not concluded a grant agreement with MOST.
Financial and operational capacity and exclusion: described in Annex C of the Work Programme General Annexes
Evaluation and award:
Award criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex D of the Work Programme General Annexes
Indicative timeline for evaluation and grant agreement: described in Annex F of the Work Programme General Annexes
- Legal and financial set-up of the grants: described in Annex G of the Work Programme General Annexes
Grants awarded under this topic will be linked to the specific grants awarded by the Ministry of Science and Technology, China (MOST) to the Chinese partners. The respective options of the Model Grant Agreement will be applied.
- Specific conditions: described in the [specific topic of the Work Programme]
Standard application form — call-specific application form is available in the Submission System
Standard evaluation form — will be used with the necessary adaptations