As highlighted by Mendez et al. (2013) in late 2012, the European Commission sent a ‘Position Paper’ to each Member State containing the position of the Commission Services on the development the Partnership Agreement (PA) and Operational Programmes (OPs) in each country for the period 2014-2020. The stated purpose of the Position Papers is to provide a framework for dialogue on the new PAs and OPs before the formal negotiations. Each paper sets out the key country-specific challenges and presents the Commission Services’ preliminary views on the main funding priorities for the country concerned for ‘growth-enhancing public expenditure’. Overall, it is emphasized that ensuring environmental sustainability is a key goal for the next years (i.e. Promoting energy efficiency, renewable energies and protecting natural resources; Sustainable and modern transport and network infrastructure).

In 2011 the European Commission presented the ‘Roadmap for moving to a low-carbon economy in 2050’ (EU, 2011). This Roadmap aims at a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the EU-27 by at least 80% in 2050 vis-à-vis emissions in 1990. Such an effort appears necessary in order to avoid a temperature increase of more than 2°C which would create severe climate change hazards (Hübler and  Löschel).

In this context, the European Commission acts proactively by allocating financial resources supporting novel ideas, studies, research and pilot actions in several sectors aimed at pushing a shift towards a low carbon economy.

It is possible to identify several programmes where decarbonisation is a key priority.  To name but a few:


Interreg Central Europe – Next Call for proposal September 2017

The program funds partnerships that jointly address challenges shared across central European cities and regions – related to either innovation, CO2 reduction, natural and cultural resources or transport.








Types of funded projects

  • Urban freight mobility planning in order to develop and adopt sustainable urban logistics plans (SULPs).
  • Sustainability of transport in urban areas – essentially CO2-free city logistics in major urban centers by 2030.
  • Enhance capacities for integrated low-carbon mobility planning for functional urban areas by tackling burning issues such as integrated coordination, institutional cooperation and action plan implementation including joint financing and public investments in low-carbon mobility systems in times of austerity.


Interreg Alpine Space – Next Call for Proposal Mid 2018

Specific objective 1 – Promoting the establishment of a low carbon society.

Specific objective 2 – Increase options for low carbon mobility and transport

Low carbon transport and mobility solutions must take into account a variety of factors, energy needs, information, habits and technologies. Projects funded under this objective should aim to promote low carbon and transport options, for example, by experimenting and implementing strategies, tools and behaviours which can help make the shift to a low carbon economy, among decision makers and administrations. Projects under this objective should also foster the setting up of low carbon mobility solutions for people and freight transport.

Types of funded projects

  • Transport Decision Support Systems (e.g. with components such as transportation planning and traffic management).
  • Traffic scenarios.
  • Platforms for on-line freight stock markets.
  • Methodologies for evaluating modal shift policies.


Interreg Europe

Specific objective 1 – Low-carbon economy

Specific objective 2 – Supporting the shift towards a low-carbon economy in all sectors

Promoting low-carbon strategies for all types of territories, in particular for urban areas, including the promotion of sustainable multi-modal urban mobility and mitigation relevant adaptation measures. Improve the implementation of regional development policies and programmes, in particular programmes for Investment for Growth and Jobs and, where relevant, European Territorial Cooperation programmes, addressing the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Types of funded projects

  • Solutions and helps for local and regional authorities to improve transport policies
  • Promoting innovative ways to reduce carbon footprint and increase sustainability of urban areas by improving efficiency in the use of urban transport infrastructure through ICT.
  • Sustainable mobility for the last mile in tourism regions (e.g. Cruise industry).
  • Securing Europe’s sustainable growth by promoting sustainable mobility.


LIFE Programme – sub-programme “Climate Action”: LIFE Climate Change Mitigation and LIFE Climate Change Adaptation – Call open Next Call for Proposal spring 2018

Specific objective  – Climate change Mitigation

Novel solutions helping cut greenhouse gas emissions in different economic sectors, thus further strengthening the EU’s commitment for transition to a low-carbon and climate-resilient economy. Projects focused on the development of new technologies to exploit renewable energy sources as well as monitoring tools and methodologies to demonstrate more efficient use of energy, indicatively targeting the energy, building, transport or industrial sectors.

Types of funded projects

  • Best practice projects: apply appropriate, cost-effective and state-of-the-art techniques, methods and approaches taking into account the specific context of the project
  • Demonstration projects: put into practice, test, evaluate and disseminate actions, methodologies or approaches that are new or unknown in the specific context of the project, such as the geographical, ecological, socio-economic context, and that could be applied elsewhere in similar circumstances;
  • Pilot projects: apply a technique or method that has not been applied or tested before, or elsewhere, that offer potential environmental or climate advantages compared to current best practice and that can subsequently be applied on a larger scale to similar situations;

Horizon 2020- Next Calls from fall 2017

Specific objective 1 – Mobility for Growth – e.g. topics funded in 2016

Specific objective 2 – Innovations for energy efficiency and emission control in waterborne transport

Promoting the deployment of green transport, towards Eco-labels for logistics and specific Funding lines as “Horizon Prize – Cleanest Engine of the Future” and “Engine Retrofit for Clean Air” (2016) many funding opportunities related to LOW-CARBON AND SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT foreseen in the new Work Programme 2018-2020.


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