Work package 4:
Flagship Actions for International Research Collaboration

WP4 aims to operate in parallel with WP2 and WP3, where their respective focus is on building a structured dialogue for research collaborations between JPI Climate, other JPIs, ERA-nets and key international institutional stakeholders and on mechanisms to increase the visibility and impact of this research, in support of the NDC targets and SDGs. WP4 will implement a number of ‘Flagship Actions’, across two broad geographical areas: Africa and Latin America, as well as exploring the potential within the Caribbean (LAC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), corresponding to three tasks. We define ‘Flagship Actions’ as the identification of strategies, partnerships and funding mechanisms for climate change research collaborations between EU and non- EU entities. In doing so, WP4 will be central to implementing the JPI Climate Strategic Research and Innovation Agenda 2016-2025 (SRIA), which
recognises the need for ‘internationalising’ innovative, relevant and informative climate change research. WP4 will support this agenda via three key activities, within the three geographical areas:

  • Identifying opportunities for specific international climate change research collaboration
  • Targeted actions for opening the JPI Climate to the world
  • Promoting / integrating the Social Sciences and Humanities in global climate change research

The consortium of partners will build upon the work of numerous related EU-funded projects that aim to promote science, technology and innovation (STI) collaboration between non-EU states to address the challenge of mitigating, and adapting to, the causes and effects of climate change. For example, this will involve close collaborations with the JPI on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI), JPI Water, the Global Climate Change Alliance + (GCCA+), the Research and Innovation Network for Europe and Africa (RINEA), JPI-Oceans, BiodivERsA and the Trans-Atlantic Platform for humanities and social science (T- AP). To this end, WP4 will serve to expand STI cooperation on climate change beyond Europe, operating in support of the UNFCCC the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Description of work
Task 4.1
. Flagship Action Africa
Task leader: DLR  Main contributors: IRD, BELSPO, DTU, NWO (with collaboration of the African Academy of Science)

Since 2007, the EU-Africa Partnership has set out the framework of cooperation between the EU and Africa on the grounds of joint interest and mutual benefit. Climate change is a major cross-cutting issue for Europe and Africa, where the needs for research collaboration are better known than in other regions. There is, however, a significant discrepancy between the regions; hence a focus on the development of African climate change research and research capacities is justified.
As emphasized by UNFCCC and SDG13, there is a strong need for user-oriented climate impact andadaptation knowledge for LDCs. In particular, the development of effective climate services for African regions is crucial to inform decision makers regarding climate response strategies, including disaster risk reduction, ranging from months to decades. More research is needed in this area, as a cornerstone of the strategic research agenda of the JPI Climate, the Horizon 2020 and the Global Framework for Climate Services. There is an equal need, with a similar internationally-backed mandate, to scale up investment in renewable energy sources in Africa, as the driving force of a low-carbon development agenda. Detailed research into understanding the exact conditions, policies, incentives and partnerships is needed in order to roll-out the observed successes across the African continent.
Task 4.1. therefore aims to analyse the connectivity of the strategic research agendas of the JPI Climate with compatible European and African agendas, targeted at the research needs in Africa related to the harnessing of climate services and scaling up investment in renewable energy. To this end, task 4.1. will dedicate resources to scope and design capacity building activities, targeted at African researchers and their organisations, building stronger networks and collaborations with EU and other non-African centres of excellence. The final activity of task 4.1 will be to secure interest in a co-funding mechanism to invest in this research agenda, from both African resources (public and private) and European and other international sources, such as the Belmont Forum and START.

In support of Task 2.2., the Flagship Actions for Africa will also include the following efforts:

  • Exploring the use of big data to increase the impact of SINCERE on the Sustainable Development goals. Specifically,
    to promote the use of big data in key sectors in developing countries, e.g. natural resource management, disaster risk
    reduction, health, food security, water, sanitation, basic infrastructures.
  • Scope and design capacity building activities for African climate change researchers and their organisations, building
    upon the work conducted by the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) who have implemented the DfiD-funded CIRCLE
    programme, and the work of the EU-funded CAAST Net Plus consortium, as well as the African-German regional
    climate service centres SASSCAL and WASCAL.
  • Establish collaborative approaches with several JPIs in order to promote pan-European research in fields that cross
    Sustainable development goals. This will be achieved through the development of co-funded calls with FACCE, JPI
    Oceans, biodivERsA etc.
  • Explore the opportunities for trilateral cooperation between Africa, Europe and Latin America on climate change
    research, building upon existing South-South collaborations such as between Brazil and Mexico and Morocco and
    Senegal. USA will also be involved where possible.

The SRIA has identified the need to better integrate the social and economic sciences and the humanities (SSH) into mainstream climate change research. Therefore, task 4.1 will work to secure a greater role for these disciplines in African climate change research, developing networks and scoping possible bi-regional (Africa-EU) funding opportunities. This will be achieved through the delivery of two workshops to scope strategies, partnerships and funding mechanisms for greater Africa-EU climate change research collaboration. The outputs and conclusions from the workshops and follow-up reports will be used to brief stakeholders from different EU funding agencies and the European Commission. The response from policy officers of the European Commission will be used to scope a joint call between JPI Climate and partners in Africa, which will preferably be in line with the EU research agenda.

Task 4.2. Flagship Action for Latin America
Task leader: MINECO  Main contributors: MINCyT, DTU, CMCC, NWO

The Flagship Action for Latin America will be developed with the frame of the Common Research Area European Union - Community of Latin America and the Caribbean (EU-CELAC), and will focus on two activities:

A) The selection of priorities from among these pre-selected themes:

    • Market development of climate services
    • Advances in high resolution downscaling of climate models for uncertainty reduction
    • Shared infrastructure for improved risk management of natural catastrophes (regional needs of regional infrastructure, methodologies for sharing, opportunities in H2020)
    • Link to the CELAC platform for National Contact Points (NCPs) on Climate Change
    • Others proposed by CELAC partners and actors (e.g. Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, CCCCC)

B) Integrating Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) disciplines into climate change research of JPI Climate, and connecting with relevant networks and funding agencies in Latin America

Activity A
Task 4.2. will operate in consultation with the Working Group on Biodiversity and Climate Change within the Joint Initiative for Research and Innovation (JIRI/EU-CELAC), the ICSU Regional Office for LAC and the LAC NCP network. Alignment with the EU Programme Euroclima + will be also taken into account. In specific terms, the Flagship will be developed by:

  • Delivering a Workshop aimed at 1) developing a brief road map which connects the JIRI, the ICSU Regional Office for LAC and JPI-Climate, 2) link with the CELAC NCPs platform, and 3) use the road map to launch a joint action on the themes agreed by both regions that at the same time matches Euroclima + aims and/or priorities. Special focus will be on the possibilities to include low and middle income countries.
  • Writing a preparatory text for a joint action, as agreed in the workshop, that will be presented to JIRI and JPI-Climate. This will set out detailed activities within the EU CELAC Interest Group of Funding Agencies.
  • Link with the CELAC NCPs platform: The LAC NCP Network arises within the framework of the ALCUE NET Project, led by MINCYT. The LAC NCP Network is a platform intended to provide information regarding cooperation opportunities, calls for the creation of consortiums and projects, as well as seminars, conferences and Info Days from Horizon 2020. It seeks to create an effective and dynamic, proactive and sustainable network to stimulate closer cooperation between all the national contact points in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. In this context, training sessions (face-to-face and virtual) and twinning for NCPs will be organized within the framework of the network in order to improve their level of service for researchers in the area of climate change. The Network also aims to establish a specific platform for the LAC NCP to allow an efficient exchange of good practices, and to engage with their European counterparts in priority areas of common interest. In this regard, MINCYT will lead the discussion within the Latin American NCP’s to contribute in the identification of relevant topics for both regions. The main challenge or barrier is to make compatible priorities and timelines from different partners and actors involved. This challenge will be addressed by targeting at least a common initial priority.

Activity B
The SRIA has identified the need to better integrate the social and economic sciences and the humanities (SSH) into mainstream climate change research. Task 4.2 will work to mobilise these disciplines in the LAC region. Through cooperation with the Trans-Atlantic Platform (T-AP) and possibly the Belmont Forum (BF), funding agencies from Latin America will be connected to the JPI Climate. T-AP represents the major funding agencies on SSH research in Latin-America, North-America and Europe and has identified interdisciplinary sustainability related research as one of the key topics for its future Trans-Atlantic research programming. Activity B under Task 4.2 will widen the network and scope of possible joint funding opportunities. This will be achieved through the delivery of two workshops aimed at developing a brief joint strategy which connects the T-AP, (possibly BF) and JPI Climate.

  • Workshop 1 will involve LAC partners of T-AP. Partners of this CSA and partners of T-AP will assess the linkages
    between the research and innovation strategies of the networks and international partners, including exploring what
    are the barriers and enablers of further cooperation. Thematic priorities and topics for cooperation will be analysed,
    followed by a scoping of the possibilities of
    joint funding opportunities with T-AP and/or other mechanisms such as COST actions to finance research networking.
  • Workshop 2 will take the cooperation a step further by including all partners of JPI climate, to align the agendas of
    both networks in support of a joint call. This will involve experts and stakeholders from the JPI Climate Network and TAP,
    policy officers from the EU and existing networks on climate change research and other JPI networks. The purpose
    will be to get input for research topics, innovation needs and key scientific challenges, with a special focus on social
    sciences and humanities climate change research.

The outputs and conclusions from these workshops and reports will be used to brief stakeholders from different EU funding agencies and the European Commission. The response from policy officers of the European Commission will be used to further scope a joint call between JPI Climate and partners from Latin America, which will preferably be in line with the EU research agenda.

Task 4.3. Prospective study on loss and damage in the context of the Global Stocktake
Task leader: BOKU  Main contributors: DTU, DLR, IRD

This task will explore possibilities for future Flagship Actions of JPI Climate on matters of loss and damage in most vulnerable areas. It will primarily pave the way for future actions and should be open and flexible, with regard to implementation. The main topic is in the field of loss and damage as well as attribution and assessment of response strategies to slow-onset processes. Specifically: what consequences or damage can be attributed to climate change and how could “unavoidable climate change” be defined? How can a country's loss and damage, as well as need for adaptation, be assessed in a unified manner and how can knowledge about the effectiveness of adaptation measures be used at regional or sectoral level to ensure comparability at a global level? What does that mean for equity and burden sharing? And what can European research and research partners contribute in this area? The results should ultimately provide a scientific and methodological foundation for the UNFCCC Global Stocktake.

Responding to the call to support LICs / LMDCs, we consider that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are on the frontline of climate change and might be considered as appropriate target for exploratory work in this area. Our motivation is to contribute to the process of accessing and sharing climate change research and policy knowledge, given that the SIDS often have limited capacities and resources to do this work individually. The 'case study' on SIDS will build upon relevant related projects and be designed to map out research needs, analyse approaches and work out a suitable mechanism to address – in an exemplary manner – key questions of attribution and loss and damage in SIDS.

The mechanism will include other JPIs and international consortia, where necessary. Given that the majority of the SIDS is located in the South Pacific Ocean, we will focus on this region and link up with the major regional actors in the field of climate change, such as the Secretariat of the Pacific Community. Other important initiatives such as numerous activities by the United Nations Environment Programme, the Secretariat of the Pacific Environment Programme and local / regional Universities will be engaged. There will be cross-references to other world regions with SIDS such as the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. There will be an emphasis on a two-way-communication through a need assessment of what exactly the concerned SIDS expects from the European climate research community. Opportunities for exchange and community building can be created within the framework of the planned ERA-Net Plus on Cross-Sector Impact Assessment (SC5-30-2017). For this activity, expertise outside of JPI Climate will be required. This ensures the integration of possible future JPI Climate actions within a broader international context.

The results will be presented in a report that should feed via the JPI Climate Governing Board into the concerned work programmes corresponding to the framework programme of the European Commission. Another deliverable will be a step-by-step guidance document describing the steps necessary for engaging with a certain region / specific theme that is new for JPI Climate. Based on the case study of the SIDS, this document will serve as a blue print for future actions to be taken in new fields where JPI Climate wishes to contribute.

Over the years, several links have been established between the concerned SIDS and the European climate change research community (such as the Pacific-Europe Network for Science, Technology and Innovation PACE-Net (plus)). This task will use the existing networks in order to assess the role of European Climate Change Research in the SIDS by identifying research needs. Selected key actors will be interviewed; the results will be discussed in a workshop in order to provide input for the Deliverables.

Concept and implementation plan for flagship activity in Africa in the context of the SDGs, with
thematic emphasis on climate services and renewable energy [M24]
D4.2. Concept and implementation plan for flagship activity in Latin America, reporting on the selection
of priority research areas, collaborations and funding mechanisms [M24]
D4.3. Report on the role of European Climate Research in the SIDS in the field of loss and damage [M18]
D4.4. Step-by-step Guidance Document for JPI Climate. A synthesis output from across Tasks 4.1., 4.2.
and 4.3.