Updated: Sep 23, 2021
People often think industry will only become more sustainable at a greater cost to the consumer. However, the reality is that investing in sustainable technologies will reduce dependence on carbon-intensive energy, mitigate negative effects of climate change, and create new jobs – all of which will lower overall costs to the consumer in the long term. The European Union is committed to pursuing sustainable technologies in the fight against climate change.
As climate change increases, it will have a cascading and detrimental effect on many aspects of our daily lives. The benefits of sustainable technologies for the environment are numerous and will also help supply additional jobs. Europe is well positioned to decarbonize, with 17% of energy needs currently being met from “green” sources.
While 17% is better than nothing, it is still a far cry from the goal of moving completely away from fossil fuel and carbon-producing energy sources. For this reason, the EU has ramped up investment in green energy infrastructure and sustainable technology research.
The EU Green Deal: Objectives and Opportunities
We previously wrote a detailed article on the EU Green Deal, the plan to reduce emissions and move towards carbon neutrality. To sum up the basic principles of this deal, the aim is for Europe to have an economy based on net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The goal is to do this by decoupling economic growth from resource use while ensuring nobody is left behind in the transition process.
Europe’s Green Deal is a multifaceted initiative that represents a massive research, development, and de-carbonization program that will keep the EU economically competitive. Some measures include:
Introducing tariffs on traditionally polluting economies
Creating a tracking system on the impact of EU climate policy
Shifting agricultural policy to encourage sustainable practices over compliance with quotas
Changing the way energy directive policy works
Afforestation across Europe
Something that must be emphasized is the amount of public and private investment available for various sustainable technology R&D projects. Programs such as Horizon 2020 and InvestEU encourage private and public organizations to create the next generation of sustainable tech solutions.
Decoupling Economic Growth from Resource Use
The current economy relies heavily on fossil fuels to provide economic growth. Whether for personal vehicles, shipping, or generating electricity, there are few things as relied upon in the modern world as fossil fuels. These fuels are cheap and relatively abundant, but they have created an unsustainable economic system where the standard of living is intertwined with their usage. Meanwhile, the extraction, consumption, and reliance on fossil fuels has led to increasing environmental degradation, mainly in the atmosphere but also from oil spills on land and in water.
There are many economic and environmental benefits to decoupling the economy and fossil fuels. In recent years, the overall health of economic growth was contingent on the stability of commodity prices. If fossil fuels, particularly oil, ceased to be the dominant form of energy, markets would stop fluctuating based on decisions coming from a handful of oil producing countries.
Ensuring nobody is left behind
The European Union plans for transitioning into a carbon-free economy includes several mechanisms and funding sources to ensure that all Europeans get to equally enjoy the benefits of a sustainable economy. This refers to both the people working in fossil fuel industries and those in other industries that are negatively affected by the move away from fossil fuel usage. People can receive compensation and training in other industries as former fuel sources are decommissioned.
Sustainability is critically important for citizens not involved in industries reliant on fossil fuels as well. Climate change poses threats for farming, clean water access, and even travel – and it also disproportionately affects people experiencing poverty.
EU programs funding sustainability R&D for the future
Europe’s Green Deal relies heavily upon the Horizon 2020 initiative to support research into sustainable technologies. The program provides research grants, scholarships, and a private investment network that has culminated in an estimated 1 trillion euros from public and private funding over a 7-year period.
As a component of the Green Deal, Horizon 2020 emphasizes grant funding and fellowship opportunities for research projects that address environmental issues. Applicants who are interested in receiving grant funding from the Horizon initiative must follow a multi-step process which includes:
registering in the Horizon system
partnering with national partners for application help
writing an application
explaining the impact of the proposed project
Linq Consulting has written several successful grant proposals for clients looking to receive funding from the Horizon 2020 framework program.
Linq Consulting can help navigate the complex sustainability landscape
This rising need for sustainable technology and the massive increase in grant funding and private entrepreneurship opens up new opportunities for academics and businesses alike.
Although there is a wealth of grant funding available, the grant application process is lengthy and includes many specific requirements. When writing applications for these grant opportunities, in-depth industry knowledge is a must.
Linq Consulting can provide the technical assistance and grants management service you need to help you navigate the grant writing process. Our in-depth knowledge of European grant programs and funding opportunities can help get sustainable technologies to market whether you run an emerging small business or established non-government agencies.
Visit our website for more information on how we connect grant makers and funders to grantees.
If you or your organization would like to take advantage of some of the available funding set aside for sustainability research and development, get in touch with us at email@example.com