Briefings, Reports

Putting scientific advice at the heart of EU’s climate transition

Moving the ESABCC from set-up to delivery planning

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Chairls of different colours set in circle in front of the main entrance of the European Parliament in Brussels.
European Parliament in Brussels, connecting its buildings with Luxembourg Square. Photo by Adobe Stock.

The European Climate Law mandates the European Scientific Advisory Board on Climate Change (ESABCC) to bring high-quality independent advice to EU decision makers. As a multidisciplinary body, the ESABCC has the potential to counter the competition between political demands and enable the systemic policy debate that today’s challenges require.

To enable the ESABCC to deliver credible and impactful scientific advice to EU decision makers in 2023 and beyond, E3G recommends that it:

  1. Complete its set-up by cementing ways of working that will strengthen the accountability of its work, its public profiling and its medium-term strategic framework.
  2. Select priority items for high-impact outcomes in 2023. These should include contributing to setting EU climate targets, informing policy consistency assessments and ensuring alignment between short-term and long-term measures.

From set-up to delivery planning

Following its formal establishment in March 2022, the ESABCC has quickly progressed in appointing members, setting up its secretariat, defining an annual workplan, and enhancing its public visibility.

Earlier this year, E3G identified some critical factors for the successful delivery of ESABCC’s potential. So far, the assessment is mostly positive, given the Board’s timely establishment, its multidisciplinary appointed members and the issues pointed out in their workplan.

The next steps to secure ESABCC’s ability to deliver independent scientific advice for the EU’s climate transition are:

  1. Strengthen the accountability process.
  2. Become an effective public advocate.
  3. Define a medium-term vision.

Priorities for maximised ESABCC’s impact

Focusing on providing rigorous scientific advice on a smaller number of strategic outputs will allow the ESABCC to increase its impact. Prioritisation is also needed to ensure effective use of the limited resources available. For the 2023 workplan, and beyond, the ESABCC should focus on three priority areas:

  1. Science-based EU climate targets.
  2. Cross-cutting policy consistency with the climate goals.
  3. Oversight consistency between emergency measures and climate neutrality.

The core objective must be to ensure that EU policies are adequate to achieve the climate neutrality target on time to comply with international obligations.

Read the full briefing paper on how to put scientific advice at the core of the EU’s climate transition.

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