The flag must change course to make the Netherlands climate neutral as quickly as possible. This was stated in advice to seek out a NWO funder and KNAW science association.
The directors of NWO and KNAW were themselves Advice They asked and are now adopting the recommendations, a press release said. It could mean a partial shift in research funding.
About €100 million per year is needed to make science contribute more effectively to the transition to a climate-neutral society in 2050, according to the report’s authors. It is unwise to allow researchers to compete for money.
“We can still prevent the worst and irreversible consequences of climate change,” CEO Helen de Koninck says in the press release. She is Professor of Innovation Studies at Eindhoven University of Technology, also affiliated with Radboud University Nijmegen. “But this will only work if scientists and relevant social actors work closely together on system transitions.”
This concerns, for example, agriculture, urban planning, transport and food supply. Less meat, no cement, no more private cars… How do you take care of all that? The advice says that a lot of research is needed for this.
The advice calls for the Netherlands Climate Research Initiative, abbreviated KIN, which can manage this €100 million. About half of the budget is devoted to research into changing the system. About 30 million go to international research, for example in cooperation with developing countries.
According to the report, the researchers are not meant to be competing for money. Such competition among scientists may be beneficial to the quality of research, but it may slow down all kinds of projects that are in fact badly needed.
De Koninck: “KIN must serve the community and achieve results faster in order to be relevant. This requires different skills from researchers.”
So the societal impact should be more important than publications in prestigious journals. “The urgency of climate change does not allow us time to perfect the choice of research,” the report’s authors say.
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