Munich selected as the main pilot, Zürich and Paris are second tier in ICOS coordinated EU project proposal on greenhouse gas observations in cities

08 December 2020

ICOS is coordinating an EU H2020 project proposal on developing greenhouse gas measurements in cities. The goal is to demonstrate the ability to integrate complementary measurements systems and methods as well as data.  

An open nomination process for a pilot city resulted in seven very high-level applications. All candidates deserved to become a pilot city, but limited resources forced to choose only few. A committee consisting of internal and external experts selected Munich as the main pilot city for the project. However, the city selection committee pointed out the value of including more than one city within the project, especially since the top three candidates all had different assets and valuable features that would add to the scientific value of the results. Thus, it was decided to form a “second tier”, which consists of Zürich and Paris, in this order. The rest of the applicants will be included in a city network of the project as “tier 3”.  

The project hopes to optimise the budget available from the EU proposal with other funding, for example, from national or regional funding sources, to involve the three pilot cities in a balanced, but not necessarily in similar, way to the project. The main pilot city Münich has a priority, while the second tier cities Zürich and Paris will be on a lower priority.

“We aim to test a variety of different technologies and methods in the field for greenhouse gas measurements in cities, while at the same time delivering results that different cities and the society in general will find useful when fighting the climate change. Having a variety of cities involved, will increase our options, although it sets us some challenges to balance the resources available,” says Werner Kutsch, Director General of ICOS and the coordinator of the proposal. 

Next steps 

All the teams that prepared pilot city applications have been informed of the general decision. Currently, the city selection committee is finalising documentation describing the selection criteria and their thinking in detail. Once the document is ready and openly available in the near future, the city selection committee will give each team individual feedback as well. 

“We are very pleased to have received such high-level applications. The application process itself brought us very valuable insight in the status and landscape of greenhouse gas measurement in European cities. We will for sure use this information and aim to write a deliverable out of the results, as this would be of interest for many organisations such as Copernicus and for other projects as well, points out Alex Vermeulen, the Director for ICOS Carbon Portal and co-coordinator of the proposal. 

Next, the proposal writing team will take contact to Munich, Zürich and Paris teams to start the dialogue in which ways to involve them further in the proposal writing, as well as to discuss the scientific, technological and other options available.  We will also contact the other applied cities in order to start the dialogue and to plan further. The EU proposal must be submitted in January 25, 2020. 

The members of the city selection team: 

Jocelyn Turnbull, Lead Scientist at the Rafter Radiocarbon Laboratory of GNS Science in New Zealand 
Felix. R. Vogel, Research Scientist, Environment and Climate Change Canada 
Alex Vermeulen, Director for ICOS Carbon Portal, Sweden
Werner Kutsch, Director General of ICOS ERIC, Finland 


H2020 call ‘European Research Infrastructures capacities and services to address European Green Deal challenges’ (ID: LC-GD-9-1-2020, part (b) Enhancing European research infrastructures for greenhouse gases observation in and around cities).  

Read the previous news about opening the city nomination process.