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Photo of a factory pipe emitting smoke in the air.

New Horizon Europe project to develop high-integrity principles for voluntary climate action

The Law School of the University of Eastern Finland participates in an EU project that will develop a comprehensive set of high-integrity principles and criteria for the fast-developing field of voluntary climate action, in order to improve credibility, transparency and legitimacy. Voluntary climate actions include net zero commitments that promise to balance the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. Pledges are made by non-state and sub-national actors, including businesses, industrial associations and cities. However, many of the voluntary climate actions have been criticised due to claims of “greenwashing”, issues of inequities and uneven regional distribution.

The project aims to provide authoritative insights on the landscape and integrity of voluntary climate action, but also aims to assess and strengthen these actions. The goal is to strengthen the institutional frameworks of high-integrity voluntary climate action and use scientific findings to support the scaling up of high-integrity voluntary climate action.

The ACHIEVE consortium consists of 12 partners across eight countries and has secured four-year funding from the EU’s Horizon Europe programme. The total budget is 5.5 million euros, of which UEF’s budget is approximately 490,000 euros.

Launched in January, the ACHIEVE project is coordinated by Radboud University. The consortium includes four world-leading academic institutions (Radboud University, University of Eastern Finland, University of Oxford and Stockholm University), four prominent research institutes (New Climate Institute, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Öko-Institute - Institute for Applied Ecology (OEKO) and Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), a major global environmental organisation (World Wide Fund for Nature), a private research-focused company (E3-Modeling), a not-for-profit running the global data disclosure system on environmental impacts of non-state actors (CDP Europe) and one SME (HOLISTIC).