Pioneering a just and climate-resilient future for all

Picture a world where humanity has harnessed renewable energy sources, eradicated carbon emissions and restored ecosystems, resulting in a thriving and sustainable planet for generations to come. This is the vision we pursue.

In 2023, global temperatures shattered alarming records, casting a profound impact on communities across the globe. This prompted a collective awakening, compelling organisations like ours to recognise the critical role of radical collaboration.

At EIT Climate-KIC, we acknowledge that the climate crisis is intricately linked to an array of complex factors. Just as a conflict in one part of the world can ripple through global food markets regenerative agriculture practices can inversely promote soil preservation and biodiversity conservation, avoiding food shortages and famines.

This is why we need systems change. These complex relationships in the systems underscore the urgency of our collaborative efforts. We invite you to join us in catalysing transformation, understanding that the solutions to our environmental and climate challenges are multifaceted, demanding both innovation and unwavering cooperation. Together, we can navigate this intricate landscape and co-create a beautiful, just and climate-resilient future for all.

We will be at COP28 in Dubai to try to understand how our expertise in orchestrating systems innovation can contribute to reducing emissions as fast as possible, building adaptive capabilities and resilience everywhere to solve today’s most pressing global challenges.

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Together, we aim to forge collaborations that will amplify our impact and drive the urgent actions needed to combat the climate crisis.

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Orchestrating place-based systems innovation approaches in Europe and beyond

At EIT Climate-KIC, we support city, regional and national leaders bridge the gap between climate goal commitments and current reality.

EIT Climate-KIC is Europe’s leading climate innovation agency and community. We use a systems approach to shape innovation to support cities, regions, countries, and industries to meet their climate ambitions. 

Through radical collaboration with partners across the globe, we act in the ‘messy middle’ between climate commitments and current reality. We implement; finding and implementing solutions in integrated ways, bridging sectors and siloes. 

We build skills to transform systems; helping to accelerate learning and explore where innovation can make the biggest difference, opening pathways to shift mindsets and behaviours. We orchestrate large-scale demonstrations of change that show what is possible when cycles of innovation and learning are deliberately designed to trigger exponential decarbonisation and build resilient communities. We enable decision-makers and investors to act.

In Ireland, we partnered with the Irish Department of Agriculture, Food, and the Marine to accelerate the country’s journey towards a climate-neutral food system by 2050. We brought together ministries, universities, farmers, cooperatives, and industry, to create a comprehensive ‘systems map,’ identifying a portfolio of coordinated innovation solutions, and supporting their large-scale implementation to achieve the country’s ambitious goals.

Read our latest article about how radical collaboration is transforming food systems in Ireland.

In Slovenia, we are working with nine ministers to rapidly advance the country’s transition to climate neutrality through a circular economy, using a systems innovation approach to guide policymakers and stakeholders in achieving urgent, transformative changes for a resilient and prosperous society while addressing net-zero emissions by 2050.

Read more about Slovenia’s portfolio composition.

In Spain, we partnered with the Spanish Ministry of Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge and Universidad Politécnica de Madrid on the Collaboration Platform for Climate Neutrality of Spanish Cities. This initiative unites seven Spanish cities, including Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia, working together to combat the impacts of global warming and achieve climate neutrality by 2030. Learn more.

Through the EU-Mission project NetZeroCities we support city officials to drastically cut down greenhouse gas emissions through climate actions to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. We are already working with Sønderborg (Denmark), Mannheim (Germany), Klagenfurt (Austria), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Stockholm (Sweden), and a total of 112 cities in Europe and beyond to provide them with essential human and technical resources to realise their climate goals. 

Read how Krakow is paving the way to climate neutrality.

Read about the 53 Pilot Cities offer a path towards transformation.

In all these examples, we empower decision-makers and challenge owners to embrace a mindset shift that’s crucial for accelerating their positive impact and becoming better leaders in the fight against climate change.

We warmly invite new partners and funders to join us in this vital endeavour, supporting a green and inclusive future. Explore our impactful work and become an integral part of the transformative change we are driving together.

Are you interested in joining one of our events at COP28? Subscribe to this form to receive information during COP28, about our sessions.

Our programme at COP28


The role of capacity building and learning in system change approaches

In our approach to addressing the climate emergency, we recognise the urgent need for capacity building and continuous learning. For us, it is essential to equip city leaders, citizens, and local communities with the skills, capabilities, and mindsets required for transformation at scale.

At COP28, we will be discussing innovative approaches to building this sort of capacity within regional and city leaders and the pivotal roles of city leaders, community leaders, and the broader urban population in effecting change. Our experiences showed that through peer learning, participatory approaches, community-led decision making, and human-centered design, we can equip individuals working within city and regional government contexts, local councils, or community groups, with the skills necessary to approach challenges in their local context with a systems innovation mindset.

This approach enables them to rapidly test and embed new ways of working, collaborate more effectively across multi-level government contexts, and co-create meaningfully with the people they serve, ultimately shaping a more sustainable and equitable future for all. 

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Our approach to landscape

Building for the future

While cities are growing and need mitigation and adaptation solutions to the climate crisis, the increasing rural depopulation and economic activities that mine soils and landscapes are causing land to become sources of emissions, rather than sinks. A lack of land management also results in an increase of wildfires that create spikes of emissions, while opportunities for carbon sequestration are missed.

Today, our vision for land use is at a turning point. At EIT Climate-KIC, we are working with regional and national governments, European and international organisations, as well as a variety of industry leaders to turn landscapes from carbon sources to sinks, tackling a lack of investment, forging new social contracts with soil and forests and lining-up value-chain incentives.

Global Innovation Hub
unfccc hub for website

The UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub

EIT Climate-KIC’s experience in helping cities, regions and countries achieve ambitious climate targets demonstrates the importance of working to shift the current agenda from an incremental and problem-oriented approach to a transformative, need-based and solution-oriented one. This vision is at the heart of the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub, an initiative created by the UNFCCC with the support of EIT Climate-KIC, aiming to promote transformative innovations for a low-emission and climate-resilient future.

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Launched during COP26 in Glasgow, the Hub provides a space for global cross-disciplinary communities to share ideas and design climate solutions in a spirit of radical collaboration. Its goal is to identify, assess, promote and work on 1.5° C-compatible solutions and support initiatives to accelerate their uptake and scaled-up deployment.

As one of the founding core partners, EIT Climate-KIC will contribute to the content of the Global Innovation Hub during COP28. 

EIT Climate-KIC and the UNFCCC are also working together on Resilience Frontiers, an initiative launched in 2019 that visualises desirable futures for climate resilience and dives deep into the potential offered by emerging technologies and social trends.

Drawing the conclusion that our current mode of development is eroding the health of nature, and is destabilising the foundation of our quality of life, health, food security, livelihoods and economic prospects, Resilience Frontiers imagines a world where we harness the power of frontier technologies to enrich, rather than deplete, our environment and overall wellbeing. 

Stay in the know Read about the latest climate change news and insights

We need funding that matches our ambition

At EIT Climate-KIC, we call for radical transformations in multiple aspects of our lives and systems. We’re helping cities, regions, and countries achieve ambitious climate goals through transformative demonstrations of change. This means bringing together diverse stakeholders with varying – sometimes conflicting – objectives to agree on a shared vision for a more sustainable and just future for the communities they serve.

EIT Climate-KIC uses a portfolio approach to the development and deployment of innovation to achieve systemic change. We build portfolios of deliberately chosen innovations that work across technology, policy, finance, citizen engagement and other relevant levers of change. These portfolios test diverse ideas and approaches simultaneously in order to generate options and pathways for the transformation of whole systems and value chains.

We invite new funders to help shape and scale these portfolios for large-scale climate impacts.

Discover how to work with us! Contact us at strategicpartnerships@climate-kic.org