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Call: Improved understanding of greenhouse gas fluxes and radiative forcers, including carbon dioxide removal technologies

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
Improved understanding of greenhouse gas fluxes and radiative forcers, including carbon dioxide removal technologies
Description of call
"Improved understanding of greenhouse gas fluxes and radiative forcers, including carbon dioxide removal technologies"

Expected Outcome

Project results are expected to contribute to all of the following expected outcomes:

  • Improved knowledge in the addressed areas, also through increasing the use of high quality data, leading to a better understanding of the processes driving climate change.
  • Improved projections of climate change (including in relation to climate change-related extreme events).
  • Improve our understanding of how innovative mitigation actions can help stabilise global temperature.
  • Improved understanding from these actions should be fed into improvements in Earth system models, climate services and other forms of downstream use.


This topic aims at filling fundamental gaps in our understanding of Earth system, focussing on greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and Earth system feedbacks, the behaviour of radiative forcers (including their pre-cursors), and efforts to stabilise global temperature through deployment of carbon dioxide (CO2) removal approaches.

Beneficiaries are encouraged to take advantage of the relevant national and/or European research infrastructures (e.g. ICOS, ACTRIS etc.).

Actions should improve scientific understanding in only one of the following areas:

a) Greenhouse gas fluxes and Earth system feedbacks

Actions should target a better understanding of key processes related to the life cycles of GHGs, other climate forcers and associated feedbacks affecting the Earth’s climate over different time horizons, including the effect of climate variability from inter-annual to multi-decadal and longer time scales. Actions should focus on elements of the climate system which have an important influence on climate change and its impacts but are not sufficiently understood by the latest science, such as terrestrial ecosystems, hydrological cycles, ocean circulation changes, atmosphere-ocean gas exchanges, coastal zones or the biogeochemical cycles.

b) Global warming contribution of different, non-CO2 radiative forcers

Actions should improve knowledge concerning the individual and cumulative contribution of short- and long-lived radiative forcers, including GHGs other than CO2 and their precursors, aerosols, refrigerants and other climate forcers, to climate change, including their impact on atmospheric and ocean circulation, as well as other environmental issues. Actions may focus on a subset of forcers, and should concentrate on those where the relationship between emissions, atmospheric lifecycle, climate system feedbacks, and global warming is least well understood. Actions should also assess the climate and non-climate impacts, over multiple time scales, of policies and measures targeting forcers other than CO2. Moreover, the action should examine the application of this knowledge in relevant sectors (such as transport, industry, agriculture and health) with a view to better understand co-benefits and trade-offs of mitigation policies with other societal benefits, including human health.

c) Climate and Earth system responses to climate neutrality and net negative emissions

Actions should improve understanding of the environmental consequences of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions to levels consistent with the aim of stopping global warming. Actions should focus on the response of global temperatures and other key properties of the Earth system to sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and below. This should include, but not be limited to, pathways consistent with the Paris Agreement goals of limiting warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, including scenarios with and without temperature overshoot. The action should pay particular attention to climate-related challenges at different temporal scales, including potential benefits, risks and feedbacks (e.g. effects of surface albedo changes) of using carbon dioxide removal strategies, whether nature-based or technological, to stabilise global temperature. In this context, interaction with actions dedicated to carbon dioxide removal (like ongoing EU projects, NEGEM, LANDMARC and OceanNETs, as well as HORIZON-CL5-2022-D1-01-01-two-stage: Carbon Dioxide Removal approaches and Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage) is encouraged.

International cooperation on the above areas is encouraged.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Research & Innovation, Technology Transfer & Exchange, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Mobility & Transport/Traffic , Climate, Climate Change, Environment & Biodiversity, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
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: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of around EUR 8.00 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 24.00 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%
To ensure a balanced portfolio covering all three areas, grants will be awarded to applications not only in order of ranking but at least also to one project that is the highest ranked within each area, provided that the applications attain all thresholds.
Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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