About the project

The 4i-TRACTION project brings together nine partners from seven European countries: Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), Ita-Suomen Yliopisto (Finland), I4C (France), Climate Analytics, Ecologic Institute (Germany), CE Delft, Wageningen University (Netherlands), Wise Europe (Poland), Universidad De Vigo (Spain). It analyses what transformative EU climate policy could look like. Based on a stock-take of existing climate policies and their performance, it will spell out a number of policy avenues and develop an overarching governance framework for EU climate and energy policies. In doing so, the project will describe how the current EU policy-mix needs to evolve in the 2020s to set course for climate neutrality by 2050. It thus takes the realities of EU policymaking as its point of departure - from the European Green Deal to the post-Covid-19 recovery efforts. This also encompasses a thorough analysis of the factors that contributed to the achievement of the EU’s 2020 climate4i traction figure targets, supported by an assessment of key climate policies and their implementation in seven Member States. The analysis will be structured around four cross-cutting core challenges, the "4 i's":

  1. fostering breakthrough innovation,
  2. shifting investment and finance,
  3. rolling out the infrastructure for a climate-neutral and resilient economy, and
  4. integration of solutions across sectors.

This structure reflects that a systemic transformation will need to evolve beyond sectoral policy approaches. Incorporating scientific insights and policies from outside the EU as well as examining how the EU's efforts interact with those of other countries, the project will also look beyond EU borders. The analysis will be grounded in science but also aligned with the EU's dynamic political environment. To receive input, provide feedback, and validate conclusions, the project will closely engage with stakeholders throughout its lifespan.

The project is structured around seven interlinked Work Packages:

  • WP 1 provides the conceptual groundwork and the quantitative framework for subsequent steps by providing a definition and taxonomy of transformative climate policies and a quantitative scenario of what the transformation to a climate-neutral economy entails for the EU Member States.
  • WP 2 provides an ex-post assessment of EU climate policy and the factors that have contributed to attaining the EU’s 2020 climate and energy targets.
  • WP 3 combines both a backward-looking and a forward-looking perspective. It analyses international best practice examples of transformative climate policies outside the EU and develops recommendations how the EU could support such policies in its climate diplomacy and bilateral cooperation efforts.
  • WP 4 develops a set of policy avenues to attain the EU’s climate goals and provides an ex-ante assessment of their expected impacts.
  • WP 5 builds on this by developing proposals for an EU climate governance framework that is capable of delivering transformative change.
  • WP 6 coordinates the stakeholder engagement that is an integral part of the research activities in all WPs.
  • Finally, WP 7 provides the project management activities.
Workpackage Figure