Report on Horizon projects supporting the zero-pollution action plan
The report provides a brief overview of the contribution of selected Horizon 2020 projects to the nine flagships of the Zero-Pollution Action Plan (ZPAP) and raises awareness about the five EU missions and their contribution to achieving the zero-pollution ambition.
It highlights the 5 EU missions and their role in achieving the ambition of zero pollution while identifying new initiatives and Horizon Europe partnerships in the works. The report emphasises the value of disseminating research findings to a larger audience to educate policymakers, citizens, and other stakeholders and produces more value and superior solutions through knowledge.
Maintaining the quality of our water, soil, and air is a significant challenge in a world that is changing quickly. Even though considerable progress has been made, the European Union still needs to fight pollution more effectively and utilise novel ideas more effectively. This will assist in preventing and resolving pollution of the atmosphere, water ecosystems, and land, halting biodiversity loss, and addressing the world's growing energy and water demands.
Scientific and technological achievements can significantly contribute to efforts to meet the 2030 targets of the ZPA, which include reducing the following:
- the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution by 55 %.
- the share of people chronically disturbed by transport noise by 30 %.
- air pollution threatening the biodiversity of the EU’s ecosystems by 25 %.
- nutrient losses and the use of chemical pesticides by 50 % to improve soil quality;
- waste, plastic litter at sea (by 50 %) and microplastics released into the environment (by 30 %).
- total waste generation significantly and residual municipal waste by 50 %.
Sharing recently completed or soon-to-be completed Horizon 2020 projects can significantly contribute here and now. Knowledge valorisation – sharing results and best practices among actors and promoting their use in policy initiatives – will support the faster realisation of the ZPAP goals.
The report concludes that, even though the projects mentioned adequately cover actions to improve the quality of the water and air, research in soil quality actions could be strengthened. Soil quality actions are still underrepresented among the three main pollution action areas. It advises interested parties to get in touch with pertinent projects that are already underway so that new information and findings can aid in resolving issues facing the public, government, and business.
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European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Horizon projects supporting the zero-pollution action plan, Publications Office of the European Union, 2022, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2777/87880