HorizonEU grants for research projects into skilled migrants, climate action

Two new projects led by Radboud University will receive a Horizon Europe grant. The ACHIEVE project will look into individual, voluntary climate actions, while GS4S seeks to understand how skills shortages in certain sectors such as construction and health care can be mitigated with skilled labor workers.


Achieving High-Integrity Voluntary Climate Action (ACHIEVE) is part of Horizon Europe cluster 5, with research regarding climate, energy and mobility. The project will identify opportunities to strengthen and scale up high-integrity voluntary climate action in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a global scale. The researchers will bring together key interdisciplinary expertise in voluntary climate action and climate governance featuring academic institutions, think tanks, research institutes, for-profit and non-profit organisations, and NGOs.

Voluntary climate action by non-state and local actors, such as businesses, investors, local communities, and NGOs, promises to help a global transition towards a climate resilient and low- or zero-carbon future. This is particularly important as national governments currently fail to act commensurate with the Paris Climate Agreement, in which they committed to limiting global warming to 1,5°C or 2°C, and to achieve a balance between greenhouse gas emissions and removals (net zero) by the second half of this century. Yet, non-state and local actors’ environmental claims are often unsubstantiated, and some voluntary actions rely on the deployment of controversial carbon offsets and/or the use of debatable technologies (e.g., for carbon capture and storage), raising questions of integrity and suspicions of greenwashing. Integrity is therefore key to realizing the promise of voluntary climate action, and for avoiding the worsening climate impacts, including extreme weather, ecological damage, and economic and societal disruptions.

The ACHIEVE project will tackle this global urgency by providing new scientific understandings for strengthening and scaling up voluntary climate action with high integrity at its core. Within Radboud University, the project will be led by Birka Wicke at RIBES, and Sander Chan at the Institute for Management Research. The project will receive 5.5 million euros from Horizon Europe. Also check out the Radboud Conference on Earth System Governance, partially organised by those involved with the project. 


Global Strategy for Skills, Migration and Development (GS4S) is part of Horizon Europe cluster 2, aimed at research into culture, creativity and inclusion. In light of EU challenges relating to an aging workforce and the energy transition, the EU faces a shortage of relevant skills. GS4S seeks to better understand global skills shortages in selected sectors (Digital, Care and Construction) and strengthens evidence-based policies through new evidence on various overlooked global mobility schemes.

Uniquely, a business perspective at macro, meso and micro levels is central to the proposal, juxtaposing local strategies for filling skills shortages of Multinational Enterprises and Small and Medium Enterprises in global value chains. Moreover, the project focuses on skilled (migrant) workers experiences with skilling, upskilling and reskilling in EU and non-EU regional contexts.

The researchers will propose multi-level policies on labour migration governance and alternative ways for addressing these shortages in the six regions (EU, EEA, Western Balkan, Middle East and Northern Africa, West Africa, and South/South-East Asia). Using mixed-methods research, the interdisciplinary consortium (with partners in Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, Egypt, Nigeria, and Bangladesh) aims to provide exploitable datasets and practical tools for policy makers, businesses, and educational institutions in the EU and non-EU countries towards improved matching of skills to address labour market needs. In doing so, the project aims to contribute to a socially sustainable (well-being oriented) global strategy for skills, migration and development.

Within Radboud University, the project will be led by Tesseltje de Lange at the Centre for Migration Law, and Pascal Beckers at the Radboud University Network for Migrant Inclusion (RUNOMI). The project will receive 3.6 million euros from Horizon Europe.