In the period of 2022-2026, VITO will continue to be a key partner for the European Environment Agency, as coordinating partner of two European Topic Centres (ETCs) and partner in two others.

What are European Topic Centres?

European Topic Centres (ETCs) are centres of thematic expertise that are designated by the European Environment Agency (EEA) following a Europe-wide competitive selection process. These ETCs work as an extension of the EEA in specific topic areas. Together with the EEA member and co-operating countries, the ETCs facilitate provision of data, information and knowledge, and deliver reports and other services to the EEA and its European Information and Observation Network (Eionet). Today, there are 7 ETCs in place to support the EEA in their mandate. VITO plays a role in four of these.

Since 2014, VITO has been the lead partner of the ETC on Waste and Materials in a Green Economy (ETC/WMGE) and partner in the ETC on Climate change Mitigation and Energy (ETC/CME). In the period of 2019-2021, VITO was a coordinating partner of two ETCs (ETC/WMGE and ETC/CME) and partner in a third one.

Circular Economy

The ETC on Circular Economy and resource use (ETC/CE) consists of 13 partners from 12 different European countries. VITO has been the coordinating partner in the two preceding consortia and will again take up this role for the next period. The ETC/CE will support the EEA in further developing the knowledge base for accelerating the transition to a circular economy. The consortium’s work will focus on four areas:

  • monitoring and assessment of the uptake of circular economy in Europe
  • implementation of effective waste policies
  • assessment of production and consumption systems across key product value chains
  • development of knowledge on material flows, Europe’s resource supply and related environmental pressures.

For more info, please contact Evelien Dils.

Climate change Mitigation

The ETC on Climate change Mitigation (ETC/CM) consists of 15 partners from 10 different European countries. VITO has been a partner in this ETC since 2014 and has the overall coordinating role since 2019. The ETC/CM processes, aggregates and analyses key data and information on EU greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and transport. As such, the ETC/CM tracks the progress the EU is making in achieving its climate, energy and transport objectives and provides important insight and knowledge to accelerate the transition to a climate neutral society.

For more information, please contact Tom Dauwe.

Climate change Adaptation

From 2022 onwards, 3 VITO units participate in the ETC/CA on Climate Change Adaptation and Land use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF).

The ETC/CA assists the EEA in informing and supporting the relevant EU policies - first and foremost the EU Adaptation Strategy - by providing relevant  information, improving the existing knowledge base and to assist member countries in the area of on climate change impacts, vulnerability, adaptation and LULUCF.

The Land Use and Climate Impacts team coordinates the VITO involvement and will work on data based climate change impact assessments and the EEA Climate-Adapt platform evolution. The HEALTH unit colleagues will focus on the health aspects inside the European Climate and Health Observatory that is part of Climate-Adapt. Finally, the Remote Sensing unit will bring in its data and expertise on European and global scale monitoring of land and climate through Copernicus and linked to carbon ecosystem accounting.

For more information, please contact Filip Lefebre.

Human health and the Environment

In the new ETC on Human health and the Environment (ETC/HE), led by NILU (Norwegian Institute for Air Research), the VITO HEALTH Unit joins 10 partners from 9 European countries. In 2022, the work clusters into four thematic areas:

  1. Better understanding of health impacts from environment and climate pressures
  2. Benefits to well-being delivered by healthy environments
  3. Supporting policy implementation: air quality, air pollutant emissions, chemicals, environmental noise, industrial releases (E-PRTR, UWWT etc.), water quality, soil contamination
  4. Exploring links between environment/climate pressures and social inequalities, socio-economic dimensions

ETH HE will do this by:

  • supporting and aggregating data flows from member countries and organisations at European level
  • undertaking assessments of environmental state and impact, upstream drivers and response mechanisms for relevant thematic areas
  • contributing to assessments of the state and outlook for the environment in member countries
  • supporting monitoring and assessment of the EC's Zero Pollution strategy.

Our Team Health & Environment will lead the Task on ‘Soil pollution and health’ and contribute to two other Tasks: ‘Children's environmental health’ and ‘Chemical burden of disease’.

For more information, please contact Jos Bessems.

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