This topic relates to the Mission’s second objective, aiming to mobilise at least 150 regions in testing the solutions most locally needed to build climate resilience.
The proposal should develop and test innovative solutions, combining technological and social innovation, leading to an increase of the resilience and adaptation capacity to climate change in the involved regions and communities, assuring that nature based solutions are explored as priority and at the very heart of the development whenever possible.
In line with the Mission Implementation Plan and also with the new EU Climate Adaptation Strategy, implementing nature-based solutions on a larger scale would increase climate resilience. Blue-green (as opposed to grey) infrastructures represent multipurpose, “no regret” solutions, which simultaneously provide environmental, social and economic benefits and help build climate resilience. The Strategy also underlines that to improve their uptake, their benefits need to be better quantified and communicated. Their essential role for sustaining healthy water, oceans and soils was recognised, together with their potential to reduce costs, provide climate-resilient services, and improve compliance with Water Framework Directive requirement for good ecological status, if they were to play a bigger role in land-use management and infrastructure planning.
As climate impacts, adaptive capacities and disaster risk reduction capabilities differ greatly across regions, the proposed scientific development and innovation should address specific needs identified at regional and local scale with tailor-made responses and measures, fully acknowledging place-based governance, socio-economic and identity characteristics and other place-based data.
In line with the Mission objective to build systemic climate resilience, the proposal should address the multi-risks locally identified as climate vulnerability, addressing in a systemic approach one or more of the systems identified as key for climate resilience building in the Mission Implementation Plan Mission. For example, the proposed systemic solution could include one or more of the following:
- restoration of ecosystems and the establishment of ecological corridors, taking into account also the benefits and trade-offs for biodiversity, in particular in relation to soil and coastal erosion;
- solutions to better manage water scarcity and mitigate the impacts of droughts or to better manage water flooding, such as greening of infrastructures, tree planting, increasing of permeable green surfaces, or river deculverting in cities, peatland, wetland and floodplain restoration;
- solutions for a more climate resilient agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture and forestry as well as climate resilient food systems, such as culture rotation, silvo-pasture and other agroecology approaches in farmland, in particular in relation to droughts and water multi-usage and management;
- solutions for building and/or managing new critical infrastructure and/or upgrading existing ones through green/blue/hybrid infrastructure, in particular in relation to climate-proofing it towards extreme events;
- climate-proofing the development of incentive schemes fostering efficient use and allocation of water and solutions to reduce the vulnerability to water-related risks;
- regeneration of public spaces to create climate resilient neighbourhoods, in particular in relation to heat-waves and flooding events and their potential risks for human health and well-being;
- inclusion of digital solutions and services to better predict, monitor and report on climate events, in particular towards vulnerable and marginalised populations;
- economic analysis and business models to support decisions making, in particular in relation on investments balance between reducing risks through building climate resilience and improving climate risk preparedness and climate emergency management.
Under the Mission approach, collaborations to develop and test effective solutions between regions/communities facing similar challenges are highly encouraged. To this purpose, the proposals should include at least 5 regions/communities, collaborating in addressing the common climate change related to the challenges identified, creating a common place to test and deploy the most suitable solutions and to exchange best practices. These 5 minimum regions must be located in at least 3 different EU Member States or Horizon Europe associated countries, with at least 1 of the proposed demonstrations taking place in region covered under the EU Cohesion Programme.
The proposals should clearly identify the biogeographical area, as defined by the EEA, for which the proposed solution is relevant and should explore possible reapplication to other regions, starting from those located in the same biogeographical areas. To support a large impact, the proposed solutions should be widely re-applicable. To this purpose, identification and inclusion of at least three “replicating” regions/communities, interested in reapplying the lessons learnt in their territories is strongly encouraged, including the consortium providing support for the technical exchanges and the knowledge uptake in the “replicating” regions.
In addition to the local/regional authorities owning the climate challenge, the consortium may include other type of partners, such as private or public research organisations and enterprises, to ensure that all needed capabilities are available to develop and implement real life actions.
In line with the overall principles of the Mission, proposals should take in full consideration the local dimension of climate change and climate adaptation strategies, clarify how they would ensure a meaningful engagement with local communities as well as stakeholders to ensure, among others, the mobilization of local knowledge, and outline how they would contribute to achieving a just transition to climate resilience.
Proposals should build (when relevant) upon previous developed or existing knowledge and adaptation solutions, designed and developed from previous projects, including from beyond EU, addressing climate change adaptation and funded by European and National programmes, in particular the European Union Framework programmes for Research and Innovation (such as Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe under their different pillars and clusters), as well as the LIFE programme. Moreover, proposals should look into opportunities to scale up the solutions demonstrated and to foster their broad deployment across in Europe through the LIFE programme, and its integrtaed projects in particular, and through the ERDF programmes, also leveraging the opportunities provided by the Seal of Excellence labeling.
Proposals should include a mechanism and the resources to establish operational links with the Climate-ADAPT platform (run by the European Environment Agency (EEA) together with DG CLIMA) that will act as a central element for the monitoring, support and visualisation of the Mission progress in European Regions. To this purpose, projects will feed their results to the Climate-ADAPT and EEA assessments.
Projects funded under this topic are strongly encouraged to participate in networking and joint activities with other projects funded under other topics in the Mission Climate Adaptation as well as in other relevant Missions, as appropriate. These networking and joint activities could, for example, involve the participation in joint workshops, the exchange of knowledge, the development and adoption of best practices, or joint communication activities. To this extent, proposals should provide for dedicated activities and earmark appropriate resources.
The European Commission intends to establish a network and coordination activities amongst all the projects funded for the implementation of the Climate adaptation Mission, under the Horizon 2020 European Green Deal call and under Horizon Europe, and that will be coordinated by the soon to be established Mission Implementation Platform. The projects under this topic will be requested to contribute to this effort. Applicants should acknowledge this request and already account for these obligations in their proposal, making adequate provisions in terms of resources and budget to engage and collaborate with the Mission governance.
To ensure a balanced portfolio covering the different climate risks as identified in the Mission Implementation Plan and to maximize the footprint across all the different biogeographical areas, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but selecting the highest ranked proposals for each biogeographical area, provided that the applications attain all thresholds. To this purpose, the biogeographical area focus of each of proposal should also be specified in the free keywords section of the proposal.
Link with CMA Goals
Goal I: Healthy marine and coastal ecosystems / Priority 1: Ensure the protection and sustainability of the marine ecosystem