As the European Commission's science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to support EU policies with independent evidence throughout the whole policy cycle. The JRC is a key player in supporting the successful investment in knowledge and innovation foreseen by the Horizon 2020 Work Programme. An initiative to open up JRC infrastructures and associate them to the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures is ongoing.

The mission of JRC-Directorate C (Energy, Transport and Climate) is to provide support to Community policies and technology innovation related to energy, transport and climate, and in particular to provide scientific and technical analyses in support to integrated air quality, climate change and related policies.

JRC-Directorate C encompasses seven units, of which the Air and Climate Unit provides scientific support for the development and evaluation of European policies in the fields of urban, regional, global air pollution and climate change. The Air and Climate Unit is currently involved i.a. in measurements of air pollution and greenhouse gases, and in the harmonization of atmospheric measurement techniques, making use of 2 major infrastructures: the European Commission Atmospheric Observatory, and the European Reference Laboratory for Air Pollution, which have been providing both measurement data and calibration support and services under ACTRIS projects.