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Call: Improvement of Integrated Assessment Models in support of climate policies

Acronym HE-CL5-D1
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 5 - Destination 1: Climate sciences and responses for the transformation towards climate neutrality"

Europe has been at the forefront of climate science and should retain its leadership position to support EU policies as well as international efforts for a global uptake of climate action in line with the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including biodiversity objectives. Advancing climate science and further broadening and deepening the knowledge base is essential to inform the societal transition towards a climate neutral and climate resilient society by 2050, as well as towards a more ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030. It will involve research that furthers our understanding of past, present and expected future changes in climate and its implications on ecosystems and society, closing knowledge gaps, and develops the tools that support policy coherence and the implementation of effective mitigation and adaptation solutions. Due to the inherent international character of this subject, international collaboration is encouraged for topics under this destination.

The activities implemented under this section will enable the transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy through improving the knowledge of the Earth system and the ability to predict and project its changes under different natural and socio-economic drivers, including a better understanding of society’s response and behavioural changes, and allowing a better estimation of the impacts of climate change and the design and evaluation of solutions and pathways for climate change mitigation and adaptation and related social transformation.

This Destination contributes directly to the Strategic Plan’s Key Strategic Orientation C ”Making Europe the first digitally enabled circular, climate-neutral and sustainable economy through the transformation of its mobility, energy, construction and production systems” and the impact area “Climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

In line with the Strategic Plan, the overall expected impact of this Destination is to contribute to the “Transition to a climate-neutral and resilient society and economy enabled through advanced climate science, pathways and responses to climate change (mitigation and adaptation) and behavioural transformations”, notably through:

  1. Advancing knowledge and providing solutions in the any of following areas: Earth system science; pathways to climate neutrality; climate change adaptation including climate services; social science for climate action; and better understanding of climate-ecosystems interactions.
  2. Contributing substantially to key international assessments such as those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) or the European Environment Agency (e.g. European environment state and outlook reports, SOER).
  3. Strengthening the European Research Area on climate change.
  4. Increasing the transparency, robustness, trustworthiness and practical usability of the knowledge base on climate change for use by policy makers, practitioners, other stakeholders and citizens.

Coordination and synergies between activities supported under Destination 1, as well as in other Destinations and Clusters, and in particular complementarities with Cluster 4 and Cluster 6 should be taken into account by planning for adequate resources for co-ordination and clustering activities. Following a systemic approach, Destination 1 concentrates on activities related to climate science and modelling, whereas Cluster 6 supports R&I in the areas covered by Cluster 6, notably on the implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions.

Link Link to Programme
Improvement of Integrated Assessment Models in support of climate policies
Description of call
"Improvement of Integrated Assessment Models in support of climate policies"

Expected Outcome

  • Improved adequacy of Integrated Assessment Models (IAMs) to effectively contribute to international, European, national and regional climate policy processes in support of the implementation of the European Green Deal, the Paris Agreement, COVID-19 recovery and broader sustainability goals
  • Contributions to major international scientific assessments such as the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the International Resource Panel (IRP).
  • Increased robustness, legitimacy, relevance, usability and transparency of IAMs leading to increased uptake and better awareness of their results across various end-user groups, developing, where possible, new business models for IAMs transparency (for example, open source and open code options).
  • Enhanced coherence between climate action (mitigation, understanding of impacts, climate risks and adaptation) and other environmental/sustainability objectives, notably biodiversity, based on a more realistic representation of their interactions, including co-benefits and trade-offs.
  • More active involvement of citizens in climate action based on better understanding and demonstration of how small scale actions contribute to the achievement of large-scale climate policy objectives including through socially innovative approaches, and better understanding of which actions/policies are more effective.
  • Ultimately, accelerated transition towards climate neutrality based on improved knowledge and better designed policies that are more integrated, greener, healthier, more inclusive.


Actions should improve the state-of-the-art of IAMs by tackling their existing weaknesses and lack of/limited capabilities of the current generation of models in order to provide robust, credible and transparent evidence-base in support of design and evaluation of multiscale (global, European, national, regional) mitigation policies at various time horizons.

An important goal of this call is to address multiple challenges in a coherent and consistent manner using an integrated framework. To achieve this goal, it is not compulsory to incorporate all issues into a single IAM. Combinations of hard linking, soft linking and other ways of insuring a coherent approach between models and experts can be considered.

Actions should address developments and improvements, such as:

  • Sectorial detail and (transformative/structural) changes across various sectors of the economy such as those resulting from increased circularity and digitalisation.
  • Temporal resolution and technological detail.
  • Spatial resolution with outputs suitable for national/regional level analysis.
  • Behavioural and lifestyle changes.
  • Distributional and equity effects of climate policies.
  • Interactions with the relevant sustainable development goals (such as co-benefits due to avoided impacts and trade-offs in areas such as health, biodiversity, food security etc.).
  • Climate change impacts, including the extent to which they can be avoided through mitigation action, synergies and trade-offs between climate mitigation and adaptation policies.
  • Financial sector and investment needs, including information in support of investment risk-reduction strategies to mobilise capital to finance the transition towards a climate-neutral economy.
  • Uncertainties and risk-management strategies for supporting mitigation policies.

The above list is non-exhaustive and actions also may propose new avenues of research, while duly justifying their choice and keeping in mind the impact on IAMs’ relevance and adequacy as a decision-support tool. Actions should also explore options for making models more capable of responding to external shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic or similar. While addressing the improvements, actions should take into account the modelling requirements and learnings resulting from the COVID-19 crisis.

Actions should build on the knowledge base developed by previous initiatives and are encouraged to establish links with other relevant projects financed from this work programme (e.g. circular economy, climate adaptation modelling) and by Horizon 2020. In order to avoid duplication of efforts, proposals should clearly demonstrate how they will go beyond the modelling state of art.

Actions are encouraged to explore alternative approaches to the mainstream economic assumptions typically underlying the models (such as fully functioning markets and perfect information) and aim at striking the right balance between model complexity and usability.

In order to maximise the impact, active involvement of the end-users (policy makers, business, civil society) in the co-design of models and validation of the outputs should be considered. Applicants should investigate and apply communication tools and strategies for improved interaction with stakeholders and dissemination of model results, duly accounting for the needs of non-technical audiences. They should further develop the thinking around the best ways to apply modelling insights to policies, including by building on the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic. Consortia should also explore ways for better bridging the gap between modelling theory and practical applications, including in support of behavioural change and societal transformation.

It is recommended to include capacity-building efforts to lower the entrance barriers to the established IAM community by involving research teams in EU Member States and Associated Countries that are less advanced in terms of modelling capabilities.

When dealing with models, actions should promote the highest standards of transparency and openness, as much as possible going well beyond documentation and extending to aspects such as assumptions, code and data that is managed in compliance with the FAIR principles. In particular, beneficiaries are strongly encouraged to publish results data in open access databases and/or as annexes to publications. In addition, full openness of any new modules, models or tools developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding is expected.

This topic requires the effective contribution of SSH disciplines and the involvement of SSH experts, institutions as well as the inclusion of relevant SSH expertise, in order to produce meaningful and significant effects enhancing the societal impact of the related research activities.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Clustering, Development Cooperation, Economic Cooperation, Circular Economy, Sustainability, Natural Resources, Green Technologies & Green Deal, Demographic Change, Migration, Administration & Governance, Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management, Rural & Peripheral Development, Regional Development & Regional Planning, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
At the date of the publication of the work programme, there are no countries associated to Horizon Europe. Considering the Union’s interest to retain, in principle, relations with the countries associated to Horizon 2020, most third countries associated to Horizon 2020 are expected to be associated to Horizon Europe with an intention to secure uninterrupted continuity between Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. In addition, other third countries can also become associated to Horizon Europe during the programme. For the purposes of the eligibility conditions, applicants established in Horizon 2020 Associated Countries or in other third countries negotiating association to Horizon Europe will be treated as entities established in an Associated Country, if the Horizon Europe association agreement with the third country concerned applies at the time of signature of the grant agreement.

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Specific cases:

  • Affiliated entities - Affiliated entities are eligible for funding if they are established in one of the countries listed above.
  • EU bodies - Legal entities created under EU law may also be eligible to receive funding, unless their basic act states otherwise.
  • International organisations - International European research organisations are eligible to receive funding. Unless their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority, other international organisations are not eligible to receive funding. International organisations with headquarters in a Member State or Associated Country are eligible to receive funding for ‘Training and mobility’actions and when provided for in the specific call conditions.
Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 60 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 5.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 15.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

Beneficiaries will be subject to the following additional obligations regarding open science practices:

  • Open access to any new modules, models or tools, which are developed from scratch or substantially improved with the use of EU funding under the action must be ensured through documentation, availability of model code and input data developed under the action.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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