Europe ringfences 35% of research budget for clean tech

(EurActiv, 20 Mar 2019) European Union negotiators struck an agreement late on Tuesday (19 March) to set aside 35% of the bloc’s research funding for climate-friendly technologies, despite ongoing doubts about the overall size of the EU’s future budget after Brexit.

Negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council of the EU, representing the 28 member states, reached agreement last night on the shape of the proposed Horizon Europe programme for research and innovation.

The decision to ringfence 35% of EU research for clean tech is consistent with European Commission plans, tabled in November 2018, to boost the bloc’s research funding and re-focus efforts on mission-oriented, disruptive innovations. The rule was in fact already written in the EU’s current research programme, called Horizon 2020.

But the overall size of the pie is set to grow dramatically under the Commission plan, with a proposed budget of €100 billion in 2021-2027 – despite Brexit – up from €78 billion in the current seven-year period, which included the UK as a full member.

“Thanks to the 35% share of funds going to climate-related projects, Horizon Europe will make a good contribution to climate and energy,” said Léa Pilsner, a campaigner at E3G, a climate think tank.

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EurActiv, 20 Mar 2019: Europe ringfences 35% of research budget for clean tech