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European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change

Page Last modified 10 Aug 2022
4 min read
The European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change will serve as a point of reference on scientific knowledge relating to climate change by virtue of its independence and scientific and technical expertise, to underpin the European Union’s climate action and efforts to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

What is the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change?

The European Climate Law, adopted in June 2021, sets out a binding objective of climate neutrality in the European Union by 2050 in pursuit of the long-term temperature goal set out in the Paris Agreement. It also provides a framework for achieving progress in pursuit of the global adaptation goal established in the Paris Agreement.

To support the achievement of these objectives, the European Climate Law also provides for the establishment of a European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change (the ‘Advisory Board’). The Advisory Board will provide independent scientific advice and produce reports on EU measures, climate targets and indicative greenhouse gas budgets and their coherence with the European Climate Law and the EU's international commitments under the Paris Agreement.

What is the Advisory Board working on?

The Advisory Board adopted its first annual work programme on 28 June 2022. It covers the activities of the Advisory Board for the rest of the year 2022.

In accordance with the European Climate Law, the Advisory Board established this work programme independently, and when doing so it consulted the EEA Management Board.

In the second half of 2022, the Advisory Board will begin fulfilling its role, which is to serve as a point of reference for the EU on scientific knowledge relating to climate change by virtue of its independence and scientific and technical expertise.

The highlights of the 2022 work programme are the following:

  • The Advisory Board will start preparing input to two key EU climate policy priorities for the coming two years: the EU’s input to the global stocktake, with a progress assessment report expected in 2023; and the definition of a science-based EU greenhouse gas target for 2040 that is aligned with the EU’s 2050 climate neutrality objective and its commitments under the Paris Agreement.
  • The Advisory Board also recognises the urgency of the current situation, to which the EU and its Member States must provide solutions in the short-term. It aims to deliver timely, relevant, and evidence-based advice to support response measures and policies at the EU and national level and ensure these will reinforce EU’s capacity to reach its long-term goals.
  • In addition, the Advisory Board will scope possible work on issues such as mitigation options for agriculture, land use and forestry, and their links with adaptation to climate change, with a view to delivering first outputs on these matters in 2023.
  • While carrying out these activities, the Advisory Board will continue its development at the strategic and operational levels, in order to begin the implementation of a 2023 annual work programme as a fully established body.
  • The Advisory Board will also engage in a structured and transparent dialogue with relevant stakeholders to develop a better understanding of expectations and perspectives and frame its input into policy processes. These stakeholders may include EU institutions, national climate change advisory bodies, EU science and research networks, and civil society.

The Advisory Board's 2022 work programme is available here.

Who are the members of the Advisory Board?

The Advisory Board is composed of 15 senior scientific experts covering a broad range of relevant disciplines. They are appointed in a personal capacity for a term of four years, renewable once. They give their positions completely independently of the EU Member States and the EU institutions. No more than two members of the Advisory Board can hold the nationality of the same Member State.

The 15 members of the Advisory Board are (Chair, followed by alphabetical order): 

  • Ottmar Edenhofer, Technische Universität in Berlin (Chair)
  • Jette Bredahl Jacobsen, University of Copenhagen (Vice-Chair)
  • Laura Díaz Anadón, University of Cambridge (Vice-Chair)
  • Maarten van Aalst, University of Twente
  • Constantinos Cartalis, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Suraje Dessai, University of Leeds
  • Vera Eory, Scotland’s Rural College
  • Edgar Hertwich, Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim
  • Lena Kitzing, Technical University of Denmark
  • Elena López-Gunn, ICATALIST
  • Lars J. Nilsson, Lund University
  • Keywan Riahi, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis
  • Joeri Rogelj, Grantham Institute of the Imperial College London
  • Nicolaas Schrijver, Leiden University
  • Jean-Francois Soussana, French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment

See short bios of the members of the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change.

What is the link between the Advisory Board and the European Environment Agency?

The Advisory Board is independent from Member States and EU institutions. It is established through an amendment of the founding regulation of the European Environment Agency (EEA). It is supported in its work by a secretariat hosted by the EEA. When establishing its annual work programme, the Advisory Board consults the EEA Management Board.

How were the members of the Advisory Board designated?

The 15 members of the Advisory Board were designated by the EEA Management Board on 24 March 2022, following an open, fair and transparent selection procedure.

The EEA issued a call with the aim of designating the members of the Advisory Board from 27 September until 1 November 2021. An Evaluation Committee was then established by the EEA Management Board to identify the most suitable candidates for the Advisory Board established under the European Climate Law. The Evaluation Committee provided recommendations to the EEA Management Board on conclusion of the evaluation process. The EEA Management Board discussed the report from the Evaluation Committee and, based on the Evaluation Committee’s recommendations, designated the members of the Advisory Board.

Image source: © Roberto Bueno, REDISCOVER Nature /EEA

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