On 9 July, during an official trip to the US, Vladimir Šucha, Director-General of the JRC and Professor Antonio Bussalacchi, representing the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) signed a new research arrangement that aims to identify and develop new approaches in the field of atmospheric and climate change research and related sciences.
The new agreement between the JRC and UCAR will focus on climate prediction, monitoring and development of joint scenarios and evaluation of impacts to better inform international policy-making. It will also allow the joining of forces on air quality monitoring and new approaches for the application of remote sensing instruments. Finally, it will explore new cooperation opportunities in the field of vulnerability/resilience and risk assessments.
The trip to the US was also an opportunity to address a high-level business and stakeholder audience at the European Institute, where Mr Šucha delivered a speech on current and future challenges in using scientific evidence to support policy-making, focusing on the examples of energy and climate.
The visit allowed for a number of meetings with US policy makers and key JRC research partners to discuss both on-going and possible future cooperation. The meetings included Dr John Holdren, Director, Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP); Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; Dr Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere, and Director of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Adam Lovinger, Net Assessment Office of the Secretary of Defence; representatives of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology and the representatives of the World Bank. Finally, Mr Šucha also attended the meetings between the United States Department of Energy (DoE) and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) hosted by Los Alamos National Laboratory.
The JRC has developed cooperation with key US partners, resulting in a significant number of joint activities and providing tangible deliverables for the EU-US strategic partnership, including EU-US Energy Council; Transatlantic Economic Council (TEC), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, Transatlantic Ocean Research Alliance, the EU-US Space Dialogue and Euratom-GIF. The cooperation between the EU and US on research and innovation is governed by the Agreement for Scientific and Technological Cooperation signed in 1998, which has already been renewed four times.
Climate action is a central part of the Energy Union strategy. The EU has the world’s most ambitious commitments on climate change and is pushing for a new international climate agreement to be finalised during the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), taking place in Paris in December 2015.