Achieving substantial cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by building a low-carbon economy is needed to prevent global warming from reaching dangerous levels in the coming decades. The innovation and investment in green technologies demand will boost the economy, create jobs and strengthen Europe's competitiveness.

In parallel with cutting emissions, Europe and the rest of the world also need to adapt to the current and future changes in the climate. Adaptation measures will increase society’s resilience to climate change and to reduce its impacts and costs.

European climate research has largely contributed to reaching an international understanding of the processes, causes and consequences of climate change. The European contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has been critical.

Actions under this priority aim to further improve understanding of the causes and impacts of climate change and better coordinate efforts to address them.

Climate action is one of the cross-cutting issues mainstreamed in Horizon 2020. It is estimated that overall climate-related expenditure should exceed 35% of the total Horizon 2020 budget.