This Challenge funds research and innovation with the following specific objectives:
- to achieve a resource – and water - efficient and climate change resilient economy and society,
- the protection and sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems, and
- a sustainable supply and use of raw materials, in order to meet the needs of a growing global population within the sustainable limits of the planet's natural resources and eco-systems.
The 20th century's era of seemingly plentiful and cheap resources is coming to an end. The ability of the economy to adapt and become more climate change resilient, resource efficient and at the same time remain competitive depends on high levels of eco-innovation, of a societal, economic, organisational and technological nature. With the global market for eco-innovation worth around €1 trillion per annum and expected to triple by 2030, eco-innovation represents a major opportunity to boost competitiveness and job creation in European economies.
To ensure EU added value and given the transnational and global nature of the climate and the environment, their scale and complexity, and the international dimension of the raw materials supply chain, activities have to be carried out at the Union level and beyond. Reducing resource use and environmental impacts, whilst increasing competitiveness, will require a decisive societal and technological transition to an economy based on a sustainable relationship between nature and human well-being.
Innovation in these fields will provide opportunities for growth and jobs, as well as innovative options involving science, technology including of ICT, the economy, society, policy and governance.
Research and innovation will cover the following broad lines of activities:
- Fighting and adapting to climate change
- Protecting the environment, sustainably managing natural resources, water, biodiversity and ecosystems
- Ensuring the sustainable supply of non-energy and non-agricultural raw materials
- Enabling the transition towards a green economy and society through eco-innovation
- Developing comprehensive and sustained global environmental observation and information systems
- Cultural heritage
Activities in this Challenge will help increase European competitiveness, raw materials security and improve wellbeing. At the same time they will assure environmental integrity, resilience and sustainability with the aim of keeping average global warming below 2° C and enabling ecosystems and society to adapt to climate change and other environmental changes.