An inclusive and participatory approach to European Decarbonisation Pathways

To create state-of the art knowledge, DEEDS is currently developing a database of scientific experts who can contribute to one or more of our research areas

Worldwide, governments, academia, industry and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are working to implement the Paris Agreement, struck in 2015 by 194 nations, to stop anthropogenic global warming somewhere between 1.5 and 2°C.  Overwhelming scientific evidence indicates that this political goal can only be met if the world economy is fully decarbonized around 2050. Industrialised countries will need to phase out GHG emissions even earlier.

Europe as a front-runner on decarbonisation

Europe has the diversity, technical and economic capacity to be a frontrunner in global decarbonization efforts. These capacities must now be put to the task of decarbonization. This requires deep changes at system-level and disruptive innovations.

The task of the European Decarbonisation Pathway Initiative (EDPI) is to provide science-based evidence to inform decision makers of the main challenges and available routes to decarbonize the European economy and society towards 2050. To achieve this, a holistic approach – encompassing various levels of governments, regional contexts, and different stakeholders in the decarbonisation dialogue – is necessary.

Co-creating knowledge in a network

Only a truly inclusive approach will generate the needed state-of-the-art knowledge and buy-in from all sectors to achieve a decarbonized economy and society on the deep system-level required. Such is the task of DEEDS. To create this state-of the art knowledge we are currently working on developing a database of scientific experts who can contribute to one or more of our research areas.

Fig.1: Interim results of the sectoral distribution DEEDS’ scientific expert database.

To give you a “peek behind the curtain” of this work, figure 1 shows the interim results of this sectoral distribution of scientific experts. You can see that the majority of our scientific experts contribute to “energy”, closely followed by scientists from the fields “macro grids to micro-grids transformation” and “integrated pathways”. And although they play just as crucial a role to achieve full decarbonisation by 2050, the other sectors, “smart-cities”, “agriculture and land use”, “social innovation and lifestyles”, and “industry”, still lag behind in participation and thus expertise.

Yet, a full decarbonisation of our economy and society can only be achieved if research equally represents all sector expertise across all European regions. This is a challenge DEEDS has still to tackle. Therefore, we are looking for scientific experts, in particular from underrepresented sectors to become part of our network to co-create knowledge on decarbonisation pathways in Europe. The outputs will actively feed into EU policy-making.

To become part of this expert network to co-create knowledge on decarbonisation pathways in Europe fill in this survey.

~ Written by Lara Aleluia, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei & Anna Skowron, World Future Council ~