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have 800 students who have graduated from our courses, leading to an

alumni group of 1,200; we have therefore created a small army of change

agents that are passionate about climate action.

What are your expectations for the COP21 talks in

Paris and a new legally binding deal to mitigate

climate change?

The good thing is that European leaders have agreed a 2030 climate and

energy ambition of at least 40/27/27: a 40% reduction of greenhouse gas

emissions, a 27% improvement in energy efficiency, and raising the share

of renewables to 27%. That is good and was mirrored by the United States

and by China. It is positive that we have a deal, but we all know it is not

enough – but you have to start somewhere.

It is really important to hold on to what we have agreed and this is

something that Climate-KIC is very actively following. We need to get

everybody ready, and science continues to be extremely important in

charging the discussion.

How important do you see Europe’s leadership in

combatting climate change?

It is almost a moral obligation: Europe started the Industrial Revolution,

and now we are convincing other countries that they cannot have what

C

limate-KIC is the EU’s main climate innovation initiative.

As the continent’s largest public private innovation

partnership focused on mitigating and adapting to

climate change, the Knowledge and Innovation Community brings

together key actors across multiple sectors to meet this

international, multilevel challenge.

Set up in 2010 and headquartered in London, UK, the KIC leverages

education and entrepreneurship at national and regional centres across

Europe to support start-up companies. By bringing together different

partners from the public, private and academic sectors, a connected

and creative transformation of knowledge and ideas into innovative

products and services is realised, helping adjust and reduce the effects

of climate change.

Travelling to Budapest, Hungary, in May to attend INNOVEIT 2015, Portal

spoke to Climate-KIC chief executive Bertrand van Ee about the effects

the KIC is having, how Europe can take a leading role in fighting climate

change, and his thoughts on Horizon 2020.

What would you say has been the greatest impact of

Climate-KIC over the last five years?

The greatest impact has been in the education area – that is where you

begin and that is where you start forming your co-location centres. We now

Creating tomorrow’s climate

At INNOVEIT 2015, Climate-KIC chief executive

Bertrand van Ee

told

Portal

that

Europe has a “moral obligation” to lead the development of low carbon economies

I S S U E S E V E N

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

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S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : C L I M AT E A C T I O N