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In today’s Morning Brief (or early afternoon brief) we bring you news related to COP26 and the green transition, something that is more important than ever in this post-COVID-19 atmosphere, and news about a call for Green Technology Demonstrators.

Any comments or suggestions, hit me up with an email on teresa.carvalho@inesc.pt.

In today's Morning Brief:

In today’s Morning Brief:

Sixth Report on the State of the Energy Union

The 2021 report, published yesterday, is the first state of the energy union since the adoption of the European Climate Law and the second since the adoption of the European Green Deal.

It takes stock of change and of progress in the implementation of the EU’s energy and climate policies, including the energy union across its 5 pillars, on the road to climate neutrality by 2050. It also assesses the Commission’s intense work with the other European institutions, EU countries and its international partners on the EU response to the double challenge of a fast, sustained recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis and of climate change.

Read it here!


Science Europe Panel: Empowering Policy Makers with Informed Scientific Knowledge to Address the Climate Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis has taught us many lessons, including on the importance of drawing on local, regional, national, and international expertise, and on the need for the research community and policy makers to collaborate at a global level.

UK R&I and Science Europe are convening an international panel of senior government officials and eminent scientists to explore how these lessons learned can be applied to help us address the climate crisis, in particular in the context of the UK Presidency COP26 campaign areas.

Register here to attend this event on the 10th of November!


As COP26 Approaches, European Universities lag on Fossil Fuel Divestment

With politicians preparing to gather in Glasgow for the COP26 climate conference to wean the world off fossil fuels, the vast majority of continental European universities have still not committed to kicking the habit.

Unlike counterparts in the US and UK, only a handful of universities in the EU have pledged to divest from fossil fuels – no longer investing in shares of these companies, or taking their sponsorship money.

“We should encourage universities to be more active on this front,” said Peter-Andre Alt, president of the German Rectors’ Conference. There is a “certain reluctance” to divest, but he will consider raising the issue during the next country-wide meeting of German universities.

In Europe meanwhile, outside the UK, only in Italy, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Denmark, Germany and Norway have any universities signed up, with 21 institutions between them.

In other words, in most EU countries, no universities have divested at all – a worse record than even the tiny Marshall Islands.

Transparency is also lagging in Europe as public lists for endowments are much trickier to come by.

If you want to read more about this click here!


Maria Leptin takes up post as head of ERC

The new president of the European Research Council (ERC) wants to see the budget doubled to increase its ability to fund excellent science and says the agency must remain independent, setting its own direction without pressure from policymakers who want to see an increased focus on climate and digital technologies.

Currently, the ERC has only enough money to fund around 12% of ERC applicants. Leptin argues at least another 10% of applications are as good as the winners. Turning down half of excellent proposals each time is painful, she said.

Read more about the difficulties Leptin will face and promises she made here.


European Academies Call for more Equitable Access Publishing

The European Federation of Academies of Sciences and Humanities (ALLEA) said open access scientific publishing is at risk of becoming a hollow promise if inequitable structures within academic research get reinforced.

The “gold” open access route requires authors to pay substantial “article processing charges” to get their work published in immediate open access. While for obvious reasons this route is promoted by commercial publishers, it effectively replaces a barrier to access with a barrier to participation, ALLEA said.

Read the statement here.


New €1.5 Billion Call for Green Technology Demonstrators 

The European Commission today launched a €1.5 billion call for low-carbon technology demonstrator projects, the second such call financed by auctioning the EU’s emission allowances. 

This call will finance innovations for renewable energy, energy-intensive industries, energy storage, and carbon capture, use and storage in all EU member states, Iceland and Norway. Applications can be submitted until 3 March.

“These investments will support the decarbonization of the European economy, paving the way for climate neutrality in 2050 and strengthening European technological primacy on a global scale,” said Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans.

Read all about the call here.

More Articles

03/12/2021: ICoWEFS 2022, European Business and Nature Summit 2021, Germany’s new government and R&I, and more.

In today’s Morning Brief:
– International Conference on Water, Energy, Food and Sustainability (ICoWEFS 2022);
– European Business and Nature Summit 2021;
– Research to be part of EU rival to China’s Belt and Road initiative;
– European Commission welcomes political agreement on the 8th Environment Action Programme;
– What Germany’s new government means for R&I;
– Data Governance: Deal on new rules to boost data sharing across the EU;
– UK-EU row may leave Copernicus €750M short.

Read More »