EU funding programmes supporting analytical capacity building: the success story of CAKE in climate policy support

Published on: 09/04/2024

The establishment and development of the Centre for Climate and Energy Analysis (CAKE) exemplify how EU funds can be leveraged to build and enhance analytical capacity, supporting the decision-making process in the EU's climate and energy policy domain.


The current activities of CAKE, a team operating within the National Centre for Emissions Management in Poland (KOBiZE)(1), effectively combine scientific research with practical application, particularly in the climate policy development and supporting the decision-making process in this area. 

The history of CAKE begins when KOBiZE experts specializing in climate policy analysis decided to expand their capacities with more advanced tools, aiming for their support to the administration to be based on reliable and comprehensive global-level analyses. This initiative started in 2013, but took off successfully in 2017 with the acquisition of a project under the EU LIFE Programme (LIFE Climate CAKE PL - The system of providing and disseminating information in order to support the strategic implementation of the climate policy). This allowed us to create a team of highly skilled experts who continue to produce and provide knowledge to support decision-making processes today. Our team utilizes analytical tools, networks, and communication channels, continuously improving them to ensure the highest quality of information dissemination.

The dynamic evolution of the EU climate and energy policy during this time, including the announcement of the European Green Deal, created new analytical challenges for CAKE. Although the team was ready to meet these challenges, further development of the team and tools was needed. Simultaneously, the first project's activities were recognised and appreciated both domestically and within the EU. These circumstances facilitated the successful acquisition of another project under the LIFE Programme in 2020. The project, named LIFE VIIEW 2050 - Vision on Impact and Improvement of the EU ETS Working by 2050, allowed the CAKE team to overcome these challenges. 

It's worth emphasizing that while the primary goal of implementing these projects was to provide practical support to decision-makers and stakeholders in EU climate policy, a significant part of these endeavors involved scientific activities such as methodology development, analytical tool creation, data acquisition and processing, as well as advanced analyses. In addition, publication of research findings and participation in scientific conferences and seminars are integral parts of this scientific endeavor, facilitating the verification and dissemination of CAKE's achievements. 

These circumstances, along with the recognition gained not only from the target audience utilizing CAKE's outcomes but also from analytical and scientific centres across Europe, naturally led us to projects under the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe. As a result, the CAKE team is a member of consortia comprising scientific institutions and is involved in the implementation of four projects under the Horizon programmes, which will run between 2021 and 2027: 

  • The ECEMF (European Climate and Energy Modelling Forum) aims to deliver analyses on the feasibility of achieving climate neutrality in the EU through the use of a wide range of modelling tools.
  • AdJUST (Advancing the understanding of challenges, policy options and measures to achieve a JUST EU energy transition) focuses on developing new research methods to facilitate the debate on a just transition and developing specific solutions to support a just transition in Europe.
  • UPTAKE (Bridging current knowledge gaps to enable the UPTAKE of carbon dioxide removal methods) project focuses on developing a new generation of tools for designing decarbonisation pathways using CDR technologies. 
  • SPARCCLE (Socioeconomic Pathways, Adaptation and Resilience to a Changing Climate in Europe) aims to deliver new, cutting-edge methodological capabilities by advancing and linking knowledge across research communities, including integrated socio-economic risk assessment.

CAKE contributes substantially to these projects, providing analytical tools, methodological insights, and experience developed through LIFE projects. 

The integration of LIFE and Horizon projects has led to significant synergistic benefits. Horizon projects, in collaboration with premier scientific bodies, have markedly bolstered CAKE's research capabilities. Conversely, LIFE projects, with their focus on tangible outcomes, ensure that these enhanced capabilities are directed efficiently towards the formulation and execution of climate policies, thus achieving meaningful environmental benefits in a cost-effective way. Collectively, these endeavours not only push the boundaries of scientific research through publications and educational initiatives but also elevate the prestige of the institutions involved in these projects. Moreover, we are already setting the stage for future ventures.

Looking ahead, CAKE is poised at the edge of breakthrough opportunities. Rooted in the successes of LIFE and Horizon projects, we are not just continuing our critical role in ongoing efforts but also venturing into new areas of climate policy and energy analysis. This unique blend of achieving practical results and expanding our scientific knowledge through our varied project involvement places us in an advantageous position to shape and implement robust, data-driven climate policies. As we embark on this journey, we eagerly anticipate new projects that will broaden our scope, intensify our influence, and fortify the scientific foundation for climate action across Europe and further afield. Committed to pushing the knowledge frontier, CAKE strives to support sustainable policies that pave the way for a resilient and climate-neutral future.


(1) CAKE operates within the structure of KOBiZE, that is a part of the Institute of Environmental Protection – National Research Institute (IOS-PIB).