Interview with Yvon Slingenberg of DG Climate Action, European Commission

On 13 May, the European Commission launched a call for experts to join Mission Boards, which will advise the Commission on the identification and implementation of missions in Horizon Europe, the next EU research and innovation programme. The call closed on 16 June, with over 2000 applications received, including well over 500 applications for the Climate Change Adaptation Mission Board.

We caught up with Yvon Slingenberg, Director of International, Mainstreaming and Policy Coordination at the Directorate-General for Climate Action (DG CLIMA) in the European Commission, at the European Climate Change Adaptation conference (ECCA) to talk about the missions and how recent developments are giving new impetus to climate action.

Q. The goal of missions is to galvanise action around a major challenge, like landing on the moon. How can we create the sense of urgency that is needed to make an ambitious mission like this a success?

Tackling climate change is a priority for the European Commission, so the sense of urgency is already captured when it comes to the mission on adaptation and across the other missions as well. It is apparent that there is also a clear sense of urgency now among EU citizens, and we all agree that climate change needs to be a cross-cutting issue across all levels of society.

As we start co-creating the objectives, instruments and projects of the missions, we are confident that we will make progress and take action that is needed to build on the goals of these missions, ie to strengthen adaptation and resilience in Europe.

Q. How will you bring together the multitude of players to compose a “dream team” for these missions?

The need to build a multi-disciplinary team for the missions is both a challenge and an opportunity: we need to engage with all stakeholders and tap very diverse fields of expertise; in order to have concrete results that also trigger the necessary societal transformation. It will be essential to select the right board members that can constitute a truly visionary and representative mission board.

We need to focus and work together towards concrete outputs that can really deliver results. In this manner, our hope is that this mission will have societal impact that is comparable to be a moon landing, not least because the challenge is even greater.

Q. Your call for experts says that “missions will be implemented through a systemic approach, combining new knowledge and technology with business model, finance, regulatory, governance, skills and social innovation”. How do you propose to adopt such a large-scale, comprehensive approach?

We need to work together on this common agenda. Indeed, on climate change adaptation we, at the European Commission, are already collaborating with all areas of policy and legislation. Yet I also sense a real interest and momentum to find pathways and commonalities that are linked up and can support each other to find new ways forward – the challenges tackled by missions are of a scale and complexity that means there is no ‘silver bullet’, and no single actor can face them alone. I believe that there is a huge interest by industry to seize the low-carbon business opportunities, including in the area adaptation, and the private sector is an essential partner, as is the so-called third sector. That is why we have to work together with an integrated approach that is capturing synergies, this could really make a big difference.

We have to work together with an integrated approach that is capturing synergies, says Yvon Slingenberg @EUClimateAction Click To Tweet

Q. The recent European Parliament elections has seen a greater support for the European Green Party as well as a strong message in favour of fighting climate change. How could this influence the situation at an EU policy level?

Support in the streets and society at large has been extremely encouraging. Following the European elections we expect even stronger support for ambitious climate action in the European Parliament, and we believe that climate change will be an even greater priority for the new leaders of the European Commission.

The current commission has already done a great job by putting forward all legislation to meet our 2030 targets as well as an ambitious vision for full climate neutrality by 2050, but we now have new leaders coming in with fresh ideas and a political mandate to accelerate action to reduce emissions and at the same time make Europe more resilient to the changing climate, so in my view this will be extremely helpful.

 

For more information on the European Commission’s call for experts click here. You may also see some additional comments by Yvon Slingenberg in this video:

 
Location
European Union
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Related Goal
Goal 2: Nurture nature-based resilience for cities
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek mar...

To tackle complex climate challenges, we need a broader...

Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek maritime sector
In The News
EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Instit...

Unlocking the potential of higher education institutions for innovation...

EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Institutions
In The News
Dolomites forging climate resilience

The Italian Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are...

Dolomites forging climate resilience
In The News
People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan

The region’s climate action plan has been announced, with...

People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan
In The News
Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable co...

The built environment accounts for close to 40 per...

Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable construction in cities
In The News
The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate in...

Glasgow, 8 November – The California Governor’s Office of...

The State of California and EIT Climate-KIC advance partnership for climate innovation
In The News
COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global I...

A new digital Global Innovation Hub has been launched at...

COP26: UN Climate Change and EIT Climate-KIC partner to establish new Global Innovation Hub
In The News
EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended

EIT Climate-KIC has launched a call for ideas on...

EIT Cross-KIC New European Bauhaus launches Ideation – Deadline Extended
In The News
Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

Call for proposals: Scaling the New European Bauhaus Ventures
In The News
Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience

Glasgow, which is hosting this year’s UN Climate Change...

Glasgow City Region in the race to resilience
In The News
Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability

Gipuzkoa, the smallest Spanish province located in the Basque...

Gipuzkoa’s quest for sustainability
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC to host week-long celebration of climate innovators

The EIT Climate-KIC Week of Action will celebrate, recognise...

EIT Climate-KIC to host week-long celebration of climate innovators
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches new series of circular economy courses

As companies and practitioners around the world are looking...

EIT Climate-KIC launches new series of circular economy courses
In The News
NetZeroCities: the new project leading European cities’ transition to net-ze...

Starting in October 2021, the new project NetZeroCities will...

NetZeroCities: the new project leading European cities’ transition to net-zero emissions by 2030
In The News
In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President...

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen outlined her...

In the face of complex challenges, Europe stronger together, says EU President von der Leyen
In The News
New IPCC report reveals urgent need for climate innovation

The IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report has launched. The report...

New IPCC report reveals urgent need for climate innovation
In The News
Moving beyond ‘brown coal’ in Europe’s rural regions

Together with Partners, EIT Climate-KIC is leading a process...

Moving beyond ‘brown coal’ in Europe’s rural regions
In The News
EU’s “Fit for 55” to spur policy innovation for climate action

The European Commission has released its “Fit for 55”...

EU’s “Fit for 55” to spur policy innovation for climate action
In The News
Munich Re and ERGO invest in EIT Climate-KIC carbon removal programme

Major German corporate group sets the ambition to accelerate...

Munich Re and ERGO invest in EIT Climate-KIC carbon removal programme
In The News
23 pilot projects selected by EIT to unlock higher education’s innovation po...

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

23 pilot projects selected by EIT to unlock higher education’s innovation potential in Europe
In The News
Investing in start-ups scales the offering of climate adaptation solutions in ...

A partnership between EIT Climate-KIC and CDC Group, the...

Investing in start-ups scales the offering of climate adaptation solutions in African and South Asian countries
In The News
Irish Aid extends support for innovation and development from the ground up

The Government of Ireland’s development assistance programme, Irish Aid,...

Irish Aid extends support for innovation and development from the ground up
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC showcases climate innovation at R&I Days

EIT Climate-KIC participated in the European Commission’s Research and...

EIT Climate-KIC showcases climate innovation at R&I Days
In The News
Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity

Branch Magazine, a collaboration between EIT Climate-KIC, Mozilla Foundation...

Branch Magazine wins Ars Electronica Award for Digital Humanity
In The News
Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans

The circular economy concept is of crucial importance to...

Cross-KIC project to boost circular economy in Western Balkans
In The News
Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice

Enrolment is now open for placement hosts and participants...

Exploring new horizons with Pioneers into Practice
In The News
Circular bioeconomy start-up receives €2 million from European Innovation Co...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Lixea (formerly Chrysalix Technologies) has received...

Circular bioeconomy start-up receives €2 million from European Innovation Council Fund
In The News
Embracing a new approach to climate change in Moldova

Moldova is one of Europe’s most modest contributors to...

Embracing a new approach to climate change in Moldova
In The News
Krakow: transforming the city towards climate neutrality

Poland’s former capital and one of its oldest cities,...

Krakow: transforming the city towards climate neutrality
In The News
Is Europe doing enough to tackle climate change?

On 23 April, EIT Climate-KIC CEO Kirsten Dunlop spoke...

Is Europe doing enough to tackle climate change?