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Promoting environmental research and development policies

According to the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media, despite significant results, the current policies and efforts of member States to combat climate change and its impacts remain insufficient. In this context, the committee called on States to review their research and development policies, in order to give priority to the green economy, energy transition and the circular economy, so as to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.

By unanimously adopting the report by Olivier Becht (France, ALDE), the committee encouraged States to develop specific research programs on recycling and on renewable energies, while designing storage technologies, and ensuring the upgrade of the electricity grid and the security of the energy production and distribution system.

The parliamentarians recommended maintaining fundamental research projects – which may lead to the discovery of new sources of sustainable energy – and encouraging, through funding, the pooling of research efforts at national level and public-public, public-private and private-private synergies, as well as co-operation between universities and large companies.

States should consider new forms of research funding, including the possibility of issuing public debt securities, “green bonds” accessible to the general public, the committee said. It also recommended strengthening the European dimension of research policies and expanding “mutually beneficial” co-operation between European countries, as well as between Europe and other regions of the world.

Finally, the committee proposed that the Committee of Ministers set up a framework – an enlarged partial agreement, for example – for Council of Europe countries to pool ideas and research resources for targeted projects, and to establish a bank of strategic resources necessary for the energy transition, to create stocks and manage them in a mutually beneficial way, with a view to strengthening their strategic independence.