Pilvi Toppinen

Climate-Synergy programme package pools together broad spectrum of climate change research

18 May 2022

The Academy of Finland has launched a programme named Climate-Synergy, which gathers together research into climate change and carbon neutrality. The climate crisis is the most important sustainability challenge of our time, and we need scientific research and joint efforts to find solutions to it. High-quality science coupled with topical, well-thought-out research questions and informed decision-making play a key role in resolving the climate crisis in a sustainable manner.

The Climate-Synergy programme pools together climate change and carbon neutrality research projects and programmes funded by the Academy of Finland and the Strategic Research Council (SRC) established within the Academy. The programme covers all ongoing programmes and projects on climate change and carbon neutrality funded by the Academy and the SRC. The overall objective is to strengthen the links between projects and to support the impact of the research results.

The spectrum of research on climate change and carbon neutrality in Academy-funded and SRC-funded projects is broad. So too is the range of issues on which information is needed in order to facilitate the green transition and safeguard the future. In the 2000s, issues relevant to climate change research have expanded from atmospheric change research to various other disciplines and topics, be they mitigation mechanisms, interdependencies or adaptation methods. A growing proportion of research work is also devoted to climate change, even in funding instruments where the subject is not thematically pre-defined. In 2020, for example, roughly one-fifth of applications submitted to the Academy of Finland were related to climate change and carbon neutrality.

Climate-Synergy strengthens impact of climate change and carbon neutrality research and promotes utilisation of research in society

Climate issues are increasingly penetrating our daily lives, affecting areas such as health, nutrition, policymaking, security and infrastructure. New insights drive and advance solutions in renewable energy. Biodiversity loss, on the other hand, sets its own boundary conditions for such solutions. For example, we are faced with the following phenomena: Receding permafrost is unlocking diseases that we thought had disappeared. The melting properties of plant proteins call for new innovations. The fairness of green transitions affects different groups of people in different ways. The changing climate is causing problems for our buildings.

Many of the projects included in the Climate-Synergy package are already part of an Academy or SRC research programme with a narrower theme. The broad range of disciplines, research questions and methods involves a risk of fragmentation and differentiation. At the same time, a broad spectrum can, at its best, help to create new connections and insights in both science and impact.

As its name indicates, the Climate-Synergy programme aims to create synergies and strengthen the impact of climate change and carbon neutrality research and promote the utilisation of research in society. In spring 2022, we will gather views from the projects’ researchers on the activities carried out within the framework of the programme and on the forms of cooperation that could be used to increase the impact of climate change research: Survey on preferences for activities within the Climate-Synergy programme 2022–2023

More information

  • Academy Programme for Climate Change and Carbon Neutrality Research (Climate-Synergy, 2022–2023), aka.fi/en/climate

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