EIT Climate-KIC and UNFCCC are teaming up to unleash enhanced climate ambition

29/09/2022 – The UNFCCC have partnered with EIT Climate-KIC to advance innovation in climate action and encourage societal transformations in ways that are fit for limiting warming to 1.5 ̊C and for enabling permanent, global resilience. For two years, the organisations have been working together on a set of initiatives (including the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub and the Resilience Frontiers Initiative) to advance this shared ambition. The UNFCCC and EIT Climate-KIC recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding which further strengthens this ongoing collaboration.

This year, we will celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Paris Agreement. At the time of its signing in December 2015, nearly 200 world leaders demonstrated their willingness to work together to address climate change in order to build a sustainable and prosperous future for all people. But to achieve the ambitious target to reduce emissions to limit global average temperature rise to under 1.5°C, the world needs to accelerate climate action and track progress in a trusted and transparent way.

EIT Climate-KIC’s experience in helping cities, regions, and countries achieve their climate targets shows that systems transformation is key to scaling climate solutions and getting us closer to achieving the agreed-upon targets. The organisation is 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.

A space to collectively design climate solutions

Launched by the UNFCCC during COP26 in Glasgow, the Hub provides a space (both physical, at COPs, and virtual) 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 Hub‘s founding core partners, EIT Climate-KIC will contribute to the conferences, roundtables and exhibitions that will be organised during COP27 in Egypt in November 2022. Other partners include RISE Research Institutes of Sweden, Mission Innovation, and OpenEarth Foundation.

The Hub is also a permanent digital platform that includes online conferences and an artificial intelligence (AI) powered matchmaking tool enabling the identification of climate solution packages.

Moving the world towards a desirable future

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 to achieve such desirable future.

Drawing the conclusion that our current mode of development is eroding the health of nature, and is bound to destabilise 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. The initiative focuses on eight pathways of transformative change including transforming humanity’s interface with nature, building on indigenous values, managing water and other natural resources in a participatory and equitable way, and mainstreaming regenerative food production.

EIT Climate-KIC CEO, Kirsten Dunlop says: “We are seeing the growing impact that climate change, biodiversity collapse and pollution has on people around the world every day now, with recent months bringing record rain, repeated 1 in 100 year floods in Australia, record heat, a sixth mass bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, intense fires in the US and in European countries like Portugal, France, Algeria and Spain, a drought warning in almost half of Europe and a looming crisis of global harvests, insufficient water to support river transport, nuclear and hydroelectric power, and torrential rain in Pakistan that have killed more than 1,000 people. This calls for far more than incremental, substitutive actions that seek to maintain our current ways of life. It calls for urgent, courageous, transformative change. Innovation is key to making deliberate choices to transform ourselves and to generate hope and possibility while doing so, but it must be innovation that encompasses and achieves whole systems transformations, relevant to local places and people. Both the UNFCCC Resilience Frontiers Initiative and the Climate Change Global Innovation Hub are taking this bold step towards systemic thinking and action. I am delighted to further strengthen our relationship with them and to continue to work together with global organisations through these initiatives. Together we choose hope.”

Massamba Thioye, Manager Mitigation and Project Executive of the UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub states: “The UN Climate Change Global Innovation Hub expands the innovation space to cover the most transformative climate solutions that can disrupt markets and entire supply chains. It also promotes moonshot commitment, pledges and targets based on what is needed rather than what is perceived as possible. It then fills the gaps between what is needed and what is possible into demands of climate solutions that drive integrated innovation approaches including policy, business models, capacity building, financial instruments, cooperative approaches, leadership and technology. These approaches will support achieving the climate Paris Agreement and human SDG goals.”

Youssef Nassef, Director Adaptation and Founder of Resilience Frontiers says: “We need to look at what it means to be resilient in the long term, not just in relation to climate change, but to all the ecological crises that beset humanity. In order to do this, we need to think differently about the future, and this is what Resilience Frontiers enables us to do. By looking towards the desirable world we want, we take a critical first step in creatively designing that future together. And the eight Resilience Frontiers pathways, once moving in unison, will allow us to make an irreversible shift toward that desirable world of permanent resilience. The journey will move swiftly thanks to our diverse range of partners and friends, and we are delighted to continue our collaboration with EIT Climate-KIC and to partner with them to accelerate the shift towards a desirable future world.”

This partnership between the UNFCCC and EIT Climate-KIC shows the importance of building bridges and long-term partnerships between global organisations and the necessity to co-operate when it comes to solving the most pressing global challenges such as the climate crisis.


Learn more about how EIT Climate-KIC is supporting the most ambitious challenge owners to reach near-impossible climate targets by visiting our COP27 landing page. And if you are interested to know more about the sessions that EIT Climate-KIC will participate or lead in during COP27, visit our dedicated activities page.

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