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‘New Barcelona Declaration’ at Science|Business conference calls for more EU climate action

The new ‘Mission Innovation’ to boost energy R&D announced in Paris is good - but the EU isn’t formally a part of it and more needs to be done at the collective, European level. The Barcelona Climate Declaration, launched Nov. 20 at ESADE Business School by the Science|Business Network of universities and companies, calls for a doubling of EU R&D funding in this area as part of a broad, research and innovation-based action plan against climate change.

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Read the declaration here.

Barcelona, 20 November 2015 – Europe’s leading research and innovation experts gathered at ESADE University today to make a call for a research and innovation-based action plan against climate change. They made the appeal in The Barcelona Climate Declaration, released on 20 November.

With the 2015 Paris Climate Conference less than two weeks away, participants in the Science|Business Annual Summit, a two-day gathering of university, company and policy leaders discussed the importance of research for sustainable growth. The declaration, drafted the day before at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, highlights the potential of research and innovation-based methods and calls for a shared action plan to address the climate crisis. It also stresses the importance of leadership and budgetary policies that support education and research: “Smart energy infrastructures, and new digital, material and bio-technologies are needed – to cut emissions, modernise infrastructures, save or recover energy, reorganise industry and society, and preserve the planet.”

“Climate change matters to all citizens. We all want to be empowered to develop and adopt new solutions faster. The European community of researchers and innovators have a special responsibility and capacity to make it happen,” the declaration stresses.

Smarter policies and legislation for green investment

EU and national governments are under-investing in energy and climate research. The action plan calls for a doubling of funding in the European Commission’s budget for research relevant to environmental issues and a comparable commitment, on the part of the EU member states, to keep research a priority. It also calls for more incentives to encourage the private sector to innovate in climate-related technologies, “otherwise we will just get more old-technology, carbon-generating airports, roads, and factories.”

The declaration also notes that new, green technologies require special funding mechanisms to move towards global markets. It also recommends a comprehensive legislative agenda to incorporate research and innovation into all EU climate-related policies.

Research and innovation “will help build the communities we need, inspire the legislation we require, and provide the financial incentives for progress. We call upon our leaders to recognise it, act on it, and stand for it.”

Notes for editors

This statement was released at the 2015 Science|Business Network’s Annual Conference in Barcelona. The Science|Business Network brings together university, company and policy leaders across Europe. For further information, please contact Richard L. Hudson, CEO & Editor of Science|Business at richard.hudson@sciencebusiness.net

The Science|Business Annual Summit featured the participation of Sergio Bertolucci, Director for Research and Scientific Computing at CERN; Eugenia Bieto, Director General of ESADE; Luke Georghiou, Vice President for Research and Innovation at the University of Manchester; Richard L. Hudson, CEO and Editor of Science|Business; Helga Nowotny, former President of the European Research Council; Tuula Teeri, President of Aalto University; Jonathan Wareham, Dean of Faculty and Research at ESADE; Ramon Wyss, Vice President of International Affairs at KTH Royal Institute of Technology; and Carlos Zorrinho, Member of the European Parliament.

About ESADE

Founded in 1958, ESADE Business and Law School has campuses in Barcelona and Madrid and a presence in São Paulo, Lima, Mexico City, Bogotá, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires. It also has collaboration agreements with over 100 universities and business schools worldwide. Each year, more than 11,000 students participate in courses at ESADE (MBA and Executive Education, as well as bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes in business and law). The School’s business park, ESADECREAPOLIS, is a pioneering innovation centre that brings together academia and the world of business. With a clear international outlook, ESADE consistently ranks near the top of the main global business-school rankings (Financial Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and América Economía). ESADE currently has a network of over 50,000 alumni occupying positions of responsibility in enterprises around the globe. ESADE is a member of Ramon Llull University (www.url.edu).

About the Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

ACUP was created in 2002 on an initiative of the Universitat de Barcelona (UB), Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Universitat de Girona (UdG), Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC). The ACUP’s main purpose is to be the principal voice of the universities of Catalonia and combine efforts to promote initiatives, programmes and joint projects with the aim of improving the university system and ensuring that it spearheads social, cultural and economic development. (http://www.acup.cat/en)

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Related subjects: COP21, ACES 2015