National research programme on climate

Reducing human activities’ impact on climate change demands a transformation of society, in Sweden and around the world. Efforts are likewise needed to assess the effects of climate change and strengthen society’s adaptation to a changing climate. Research in a variety of fields, as well as interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral research and innovation, are therefore needed to meet the challenges of climate change and contribute to a sustainable development.

Formas has been tasked with leading the Swedish National Research Programme on Climate in collaboration with other research funders and stakeholders. The programme’s initiatives are based on a strategic research agenda and aims to be beneficial for society and its climate transformation.

The programme pursues collaboration between Swedish funders of climate research and provides a link between national and international research.

Initiated in 2017, the programme runs for ten years. As of 2021, the programme has an annual budget of about 23 million euros.

Programme objectives

The national research programmes are an initiative of the Swedish government for meeting prioritised societal challenges. The Swedish National Research Programme on Climate aims to provide knowledge for the following:

  • A profound transformation of society that addresses climate challenges
  • A rapid reduction in emissions to net zero and, in the long term, negative emissions
  • Climate change adaptation with increased robustness and reduced vulnerability to the impacts of climate change
  • Climate actions undertaken in line with long-term sustainable development where no one is left behind

The programme also aims to boost the impact of research results in society, strengthen gender equality, and enhance the linkages between research and higher education. The programme promotes high-quality and innovative research that often, but not always, are characterised by interdisciplinarity and cross-sectoral collaboration. All in all, the programme intends to enhance challenge driven research that advances societies’ transformation towards sustainable development.

Programme themes

The programme has identified six themes requiring more knowledge in order to meet the climate challenges:

  • Sustainable innovations for climate efforts
  • System-integrated knowledge of climate change, ecosystems and society
  • Production and consumption in line with climate goals
  • Governance for meeting climate challenges
  • Economic and financial drivers for climate action
  • A democratic and just climate transformation

In addition, the programme has identified four cross-cutting perspectives, which provide critical entry points to the themes above. The cross-cutting perspectives are:

  • international climate actions
  • digitalisation
  • synergies and goal conflicts in the sustainable development agenda
  • equality, equity and diversity

Read more about these themes and perspectives in the programme’s strategic research agenda.

About the programme

Programme committee and working group

Formas has established a national programme committee with representatives from the following climate research funders in Sweden: Energimyndigheten, Formas, Forte, Hav- och vattenmyndigheten, Mistra, Naturvårdsverket, Polarforskningssekretariatet, Sida, Vetenskapsrådet and Vinnova. The committee assists Formas with implementing and regularly updating the strategic research agenda on which the national climate research programme is based. The committee is headed by an independent chair.



  • Annika Helker Lundström, Chair for IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet AB and Återvinningsindustrierna, member of WWF's board and former CEO of Svensk Vindenergi.


  • Energimyndigheten (Swedish Energy Agency): Åsa Forsum, Head of unit sustainable resources and systems, department of research and innovation, Swedish Energy Agency
  • Formas: John Tumpane, Head of Department of Environmental Sciences
  • Forte: Olle Lundberg, Secretary General
  • Havs- och vattenmyndigheten (Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management): Thomas Klein, Head of Department of Environmental Analysis
  • Mistra: Anna Jöborn, Chief Executive Officer
  • Naturvårdsverket (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency): Stefan Nyström, Head of Department for Climate Change
  • Polarforskningssekretariatet (Swedish Polar Research Secretariat): Katarina Gårdfeldt, Director-General
  • Rymdstyrelsen (Swedish Space Agency): Kristine Dannenberg, Head of Research
  • Sida (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency): Madeleine Jönsson, Research Advisor, Research Cooperation Unit
  • Vetenskapsrådet (Swedish Research Council): Mattias Marklund, Secretary General for Natural and Engineering Sciences
  • Vinnova (Sweden’s innovation agency): Jonas Brändström, Head of International Cooperation Division

Working group

Formas also has a working group with representatives from most of the public authorities who serve on the programme committee. The group interacts at an operational level.

Programme coordinators and contact persons

Funded projects

Since the programme began in 2017, many different types of projects have been funded. Most of them are research-oriented, but the programme also funds research syntheses and projects oriented more towards applied research. Common to all projects is that they should contribute knowledge or solutions that are useful to different stakeholders in society. The programme also funds projects enabling increased mobility between academia and other sectors.

For more information about all funded research and innovation projects, consult the Swecris database External link..

Updated:13 November 2023
Page manager: Anna Kaijser