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Research and innovation
News article20 March 2023Directorate-General for Research and Innovation3 min read

DG Research and Innovation welcomes the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has today issued a Synthesis Report, bringing forward the most powerful messages produced by the Panel over the past 8 years. It highlights that the scale of the changes in the climate system caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases is unprecedented in the history of humanity with grave implications for people and the planet

  • Global warming since 1970 has been faster than in any other comparable timeframe over at least the last 2000 years.
  • Carbon dioxide concentrations are at their highest in at least the last 2 million years. Methane and nitrous oxide concentrations are at their highest in at least 800,000 years.
  • Sea level rise is unavoidable for centuries to millennia due to continuing deep ocean warming and ice sheet melt, and sea levels will remain elevated for thousands of years Already today, approximately 3.3–3.6 billion people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change.
  • Projected long-term impacts are up to multiple times higher than currently observed whereas with further warming climate change risks will become increasingly complex and more difficult to manage

The findings demonstrate that the European Green Deal is just as valid now as it was at the inception. Arriving amid the global energy crisis, the IPCC’s messages confirm the need for the EU to stay at the forefront of the fight against climate change by progressing with its efforts to become climate-neutral, climate resilient, and to accelerate the clean energy transition.

With the aim of Fit for 55 package to cut net emissions by at least 55% by 2030, the EU is acting decisively to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

In parallel, the EU has been stepping up its efforts to build climate resilience by mainstreaming adaptation into all its policies and implementing the EU Strategy on Adaptation to Climate change. This includes working together with 300 European regions and local authorities participating in the EU Mission on Adaptation to Climate Change. The EU also plays an important role in supporting climate adaptation globally.

Climate action needs to go hand in hand with measures to protect and restore ecosystems as evidence shows that the climate and biodiversity crises are intertwined and must be tackled together. The building blocks of the European Green Deal - the European Climate Law and other initiatives such as the Farm to Fork, the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy, Zero Pollution and Circular Economy Action Plans - are all crucial elements of the transition to a sustainable, climate resilient, nature-positive and equitable society.


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is the United Nations body that provides policy makers with the most comprehensive information on the science of climate change. It produces regular assessments of the state of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation, based on input from thousands of experts. IPCC’s reports are regarded as the most authoritative source of information on the science of climate change since they are subject to extensive review by experts and governments, ensuring the highest standards of quality and policy relevance. They inform the UN’s climate change negotiations and have played a critical role in shaping the global response to the crisis.

EU-funded research: a key contributor to IPCC assessments

The European Union, through its successive research and innovation funding programmes, has a long history of financing impactful research on climate change. EU-funded projects have mobilised some of the best European scientists to work on filling critical knowledge gaps and are delivering policy relevant outcomes, which inform the implementation of the European Green Deal and of the Paris Agreement. 

Recognising the importance of climate science, Horizon Europe, the EU's research and innovation programme for 2021-2027, will invest over 1 billion in this important area. The results of this research will inform future IPCC assessments. Overall, 35% of Horizon Europe budget is devoted to tackling climate change, including via four EU Missions – Mission Adaptation to Climate Change, Mission Ocean and Waters, Mission Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, and Mission a Soil Deal for Europe. These flagship initiatives anchored in EU Research & Innovation are paving the way to accelerate the implementation of the European Green Deal.

Extensive impact assessments and in-house research done by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre also reflect the commitment to evidence-based decision making and contribute to the scientific foundation behind the EU climate policies.

More information

IPCC — Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

IPCC Synthesis Report

Factsheet: EU R&I top funder of leading climate science

Contribution of the framework programmes to IPCC

News article: Global panel of scientists publish their latest verdict on the climate crisis and how we must respond

European Green Deal

European Climate Law



Publication date
20 March 2023
Directorate-General for Research and Innovation