Humanity has little time to address the urgent challenges presented by climate change and avoid the worst effects of a climate disaster. While the EU leads global policy ambition in mitigating climate change, in particular for the goal of achieving climate neutrality by mid-century, there is no coherent scientific evidence-base to draw upon. This leads to conflicting policy proposals and implementation measures at European and Member State levels which undermines progress towards this goal.
To address these shortcomings, this project proposes an ambitious solution to bring the main evidence-base and stakeholders who create and use that evidence under one roof – the European Climate and Energy Modelling Forum (ECEMF). In support of this overall proposal, this project is developed across five objectives. Researchers need to identify and co-develop the most pressing policy-relevant research questions with a range of stakeholders (Objective 1) through constructive active and engaging dialogue. Following this, we can focus our program of research on achieving climate neutrality into a coherent, comprehensive and relevant evidence-base for energy and climate policy impact assessment (Objective 2). The evidence-base will support the development of policy-relevant insights which must be communicated to the key decision makers (Objective 3). This loop of knowledge co-production stands on two pillars. Firstly, we will advance the state-of-the-art of energy and climate modelling by facilitating sharing of input data, methods and scientific software tools (Objective 4) and we will establish the forum as a long-term, open and welcoming European focal-point for researchers and policy makers (Objective 5).
Objective 1: Identify and co-develop the most pressing policy-relevant research questions with a range of stakeholders. Organize regular workshops and meetings to build a dialogue between European, Member State and Associated Country policy makers, the scientific community and global, European and national modelling teams. Ensure researchers work with EU and national policy makers to identify the critical policy-relevant research questions and organize scenario modelling exercises to address them.
Objective 2: Produce a comprehensive, relevant and coherent evidence base for energy and climate policy impact assessment. Ensure that the scientific evidence base is comprehensive by building a technical infrastructure to support the detailed comparison of a wide range of data, assumptions, scenarios and models. Harness the models, infrastructure and researchers to answer key research questions on the topic of climate neutrality. Ensure that the scientific evidence base is relevant by establishing and exploiting a direct communication channel between European and member state policy makers and the research community to foster the exchange of ideas, policy questions and research insights. Ensure that the evidence base is coherent, open and accessible by creating, extending and implementing standards, protocols and guidelines in line with the FAIR principles to ensure broad contribution from the wider community.
Objective 3: Provide robust policy insights. Provide urgently needed answers on how the EU can meet its vision for climate neutrality by mid-century, across technical, societal and economic dimensions and multiple scales and sectors. Draw upon a wide range of data, assumptions, scenarios and leading models from the scientific evidence-base to support these answers fully considering input and insights from policy makers and key relevant stakeholders. Formulate these answers in a way that is easily understood by the policy audience, and use novel interactive digital tools to effectively communicate these insights in an engaging and exciting manner.
Objective 4: Advance the state-of-the-art of energy and climate modelling by facilitating sharing of input data, methods and scientific software tools. Embed transparency (provenance of data) and openness (sharing of data, methods and tools) in the interface between energy and climate science and policy to enable the urgent progress required to avoid climate catastrophe. Make project results findable, accessible, interoperable and reproducible to increase confidence in the policy insights they inform. Share data, methods and tools to accelerate efforts to build capacity and increase European and international participation in energy and climate modelling.
Objective 5: Establish the forum as a long-term focal-point for collaboration. Provide a “one-stop shop” for European and member state policy makers and academics working in energy and climate. Connect to ongoing projects and similar efforts as well as relevant stakeholders to reduce fragmentation of the energy and climate research and policy community. Bring together existing communities, projects and interests drawing upon the existing experience of model comparison in Europe and globally. Build capacity in European Member States and Associated Countries by actively supporting engagement and delivering training to developing skills and knowledge. Establish the forum as a community governed institution for the benefit of the wider scientific and policy communities beyond the project timeline.
2021 - 2025