See EU! UK and Canada launch new alliance as UK faces £80bn research ban from bloc

Lord Frost gives update on UK’s participation in Horizon Europe

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The Adaptation Research Alliance (ARA), which was announced this week at the COP26 summit Glasgow, will bring together researchers and policymakers from both sides of the Atlantic to find common solutions to the climate crisis. According to the Government, ARA will constitute a network of more than 90 organisations representing some 30 economies. The initiative aims to increase the collaboration between research institutions and vulnerable communities at “the frontline of climate change”.

Jesse De Maria Kinney, Head of Secretariat for Adaptation Research Alliance, said: “Climate adaptation requires evidence-based solutions that are tailored to local contexts.

“The formal launch of the ARA highlights a growing global movement supporting this approach among funders, researchers, policymakers and communities and our collective commitment to driving a paradigm shift in the adaptation community where solutions are co-produced, action oriented and lead to positive changes in people’s lives.”

The announcement comes amid growing uncertainty about the UK’s future in the Horizon Europe research programme.

The European Union has threatened to sideline the UK from the £80billion (€95billion) project over the ongoing Article 16 row.

Last month, Europe’s Commissioner for Innovation and Research said the UK would not be able to join the programme until issues surrounding Northern Ireland are resolved.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel said: “Association is a thematic subject, and I am confident that we are ready to tackle it as soon as possible, but transversal issues need to be tackled first.”

However, Britain’s chief Brexit negotiator, Lord David Frost, has faced increased pressure to completely withdraw from the programme.

The UK presently contributes some £15billion to three major science projects, including Horizon Europe.

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The Government had intended to contribute at least £2.1billion to the project in a bid to give British scientists access to research and innovation on the continent.

But earlier this week Lord Frost said the UK will look to invest £15billion on its own research initiatives, looking to “put together a domestic research programme for our own sciences and universities in its place”.

The Government has now partnered with Canada on ARA as well the Climate Adaptation and Resilience research programme or CLARE.

On Wednesday, ministers said the UK will contribute an additional £48million towards CLARE, bringing the UK’s total funding up to £100million.

The initiative aims to support the development of “actionable solutions” for communities most at risk from climate change and extreme weather.

Some £40million of the UK’s funding will be spent on Africa.

In total, the Government expects CLARE to benefit some five million people around the globe.

Science Minister George Freeman said: “Real change to combat climate change cannot happen without new scientific ideas, innovation and research, and it is clear that no country or company acting in isolation can deliver the change that is needed at the pace that is needed.

“As an innovation nation, we want to lead the global effort to have every country, organisation and business contribute to this agenda by encouraging new ideas and products.

“That is why, for example, we have launched new commitments to enhance international innovation cooperation and ensure we meet our climate goals.

“The scale of the challenge we face is daunting, but there is room for optimism, and I look forward to working together to unleash a new wave of innovation to build a cleaner, better, and more prosperous world.”

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