Priority research topics

Three main topics of research are prioritized: Earth system sciences, Climate change and sustainability sciences, Energy transition.

Earth system sciences

Knowledge and monitoring of the physical, chemical, biological, ecological and social mechanisms that underpin global and regional environmental changes are needed.
include an understanding of how these mechanisms have interacted in the past and how they are likely to evolve in the future as well as scientific assessments that are relevant to diverse contexts ranging from global to local scale.

Topics include :

  • Enhanced observation of the Earth System and attribution of environmental and climate changes, including anthropogenic changes.
  • Further understanding of processes, interaction scales, risks and thresholds.
  • Improvement  of  modeling  activities  of  complex  Earth  systems,  data  assimilation  and predictability.
  • Exploring future scenarios.
Climate change and sustainability sciences

Critical knowledge gaps exist in ways of addressing sustainable development challenges in  the context of global and climate changes. This includes meeting basic needs for a growing human population in a stressed ecosystem and how societies may address global environmental and sustainability challenges.

These transformative changes are many-sided; they are related to human health and well-being, demography, economics strategies and their associations with sustainable production and consumption, urbanization, new technologies and processes, energy and governance for global sustainability in particular but not only under climate change induced stress.  

Topics include :

  • Meeting basic needs and overcome inequalities.
  • Governing and managing sustainable development locally and globally.
  • Managing growth, synergies and trade-offs.
  • Exploring, understanding and evaluating transformation pathways and life cycle issues.
  • Developing, implementing and promoting sustainable technologies.
  • Development of recycling technologies and of green and recyclable materials.
  • Understanding  and  evaluating  global  health  challenges  and  managing  health  risks  and equities of environmental and climate change.
Energy Transition

The transition from fossil fuels towards innovative zero carbon energy sources, associated to carbon sequestration    and    usage    strategies,    appear     as     the     current     solutions     to     diminish the Global Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Zero carbon energy sources have to be made available at the right time and the right place  through efficient and affordable energy storage  as well as smart management and distribution systems.

Overall, the concepts associated to the flexibility of population/economic needs and consumption habits should be put in the perspective of an accelerated energy transition.

Topics include :

  • Emerging innovative concepts and technologies for massive energy production, storage and distribution.
  • Energy efficiency.
  • Economically, environmentally and socially viable production and bioproduction of bio- sourced raw materials.
  • Systemic  approach  of  the  energy  transition  including  economic,  ecologic,  and  social challenges, and the development and analysis of prospective scenarios.


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