7 July 2022

The European Commission has presented a strategic foresight report 2022, entitled “Twinning the digital and ecological transition in the new geopolitical context”.  This report is dedicated to the twinning of the digital and environmental transition until 2050. The Commission details ten key EU research and innovation actions to accelerate both transitions.   

Long-term investments 

The twinning of both the digital and green transitions will require the mobilization of welfare, sustainability and circularity policies. Nearly €650 billion per year in additional investments are expected to be needed between now and 2030. 

Key sectors for twinning the digital and environmental transitions are: energy, transport, industry, construction and agriculture. 

Achieving climate neutrality and circularity by 2050 will be possible thanks to new technologies that are currently in the pilot phase. 

10 action points for the twinning of the digital and ecological transition 

The report identifies 10 key action points to maximize the opportunities and minimize the potential risks arising from twinning the two transitions: 

  • Boost environmental resilience and food security through key actors and tools such as the EU Critical Technologies Observatory or the Common Agricultural Policy. 
  • Fostering partnerships that intensify green and digital work.  
  • Adopt a new strategy around the supply of critical materials and commodities. 
  • Develop regional development and investment policies. 
  • Encourage labor mobility between sectors 
  • Encourage future investments that are focused on R&D and technology. 
  • Assess through a new monitoring framework the enabling effects of digitalization and its overall carbon footprint. 
  • Provide new sustainable business models and consumption patterns. 
  • Intensify global standard setting on sustainability issues centered on the principle of “reduce, repair, reuse and recycle”. 
  • Promote a robust framework for cybersecurity and secure data sharing. 

Prior results in science, research and innovation. 

In parallel, the Commission has published the 2022 edition of the report Science, Research and Innovation Performance Report detailing the EU’s innovation performance: 

  • The EU accounts for around 18% of global R&D investment. 
  • The EU is a world leader in the climate field thanks to 23% of total patent applications. 
  • The EU contributes a total of 23% of global investments in the bioeconomy sector. 
  • In the health sector, the EU accounts for 17% of global investment. 

NextGenerationEU helps the European Union to overcome the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, both economically and socially. It is a tool to address the ecological crisis and enables the EU to become greener, more digital, resilient and better prepared for future challenges.   

Diego Gonzalez Armesto 

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