Environment and resources challenges


Climate change and environmental degradation are the defining challenges of our time. The European Green Deal aims to transform Europe into a sustainable, climate-neutral continent by 2050 through the reduction of emissions, the supply of clean, affordable and secure energy, the efficient use of resources and the development of a clean and circular economy, the shift to sustainable and smart mobility, the re-design of the food system and the protection of biodiversity.

The Circular Economy Action Plan is one of the main building blocks of the European Green Deal. The aim is to transform production and consumption, in addition to drastically reducing waste, by extending the life cycle of products through sustainable product design but also reusing, repairing, and recycling.

Environmental chemistry is an interdisciplinary science that first focuses on understanding the chemical and biochemical phenomena that occur in uncontaminated environments (air, soil, water), and secondly on the effect of human activity on these environments through the release of chemicals. Catalysis is at the center of the chemical industry and green catalysis aims to transform the process such that little waste is produced and the environmental impact is minimal, in addition to the development of more efficient and selective catalysts, and their more effective use.

Certain environmental contaminants can accumulate to toxic concentrations in the terrestrial and aquatic food chains. Research in this field aims to further understanding of the environmental effects and health impact, in addition to the development of methods for the detection of previously unrecognized contaminants in foods.

Environmental health investigates the interrelationship between people and their environment and includes topics such as the human health effects of exposure to air or water pollution, toxic chemicals, nanomaterials and climate change.