The Commission launched today a call for expression of interest addressed to cities to join the European Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities.
The objectives of the mission are to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and to ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.
Joining the mission will put the selected cities right at the innovation forefront of the transition towards climate neutrality, as part of the European Green Deal. As the fight against climate change increasingly turns to deployment of solutions, cities are best placed to be the early adopters of the policies to get to climate neutrality. In the process, it will allow them to deliver multiple benefits to their communities in terms of reduced air and noise pollution, less congestion, lower energy bills and healthier lifestyles.
Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said:
We need cities at the forefront of our efforts to reach climate neutrality. It is great to see the enthusiasm and ambition that many of them have already shared with us. I would like to strongly encourage cities to participate in this Call, not just those that are already far advanced on their journey to climate neutrality, but also those who are in an earlier stage of their transformation.
The launch of the call for expression of interest took place at the Conference on European Missions at the Committee of the Regions and marks the first milestone in the implementation of the mission.
Benefits for cities
Cities participating in the mission will prepare and implement a “Climate City Contract” that will be co-created with local stakeholders and citizens. The benefits that the Cities Mission will offer cities include:
- Tailor-made advice and assistance from a “Mission Platform” for example towards developing an Investment Plan to draw in external finance
- Unlocking additional funding and financing opportunities through a “Mission label”
- Funding opportunities for cities to be part of large innovation actions, pilot projects and demonstrators
- Support through a national coordination network
- Networking opportunities, learning and exchange of experiences among cities
- Buy-in and involvement of citizens and local communities for climate neutral solutions
- High visibility – raising political profile and attractiveness for investment and skilled workers
The Commission published an Info Kit for cities and a list of Frequently Asked Questions in October (link) that contain detailed information about what will be expected of cities that become part of the mission and about the selection process and functioning of the mission.
Cities are now invited to state their interest in becoming climate-neutral by 2030 as part of the Mission and to submit information about their current situation, ongoing work and future plans as regards climate neutrality.
Cities can register for the call for expression of interest here (insert link). They can respond to the call until 31 January 2022.After assessment by independent experts, the Commission will announce the list of selected participant cities by March 2022. The first cities will be able to start working on their Climate City Contracts with the support of the Mission Platform as soon as the selection process is completed.
Based on proposals that the Mission Boards handed over to the Commission in September 2020, five missions were identified in the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan. Horizon Europe provides initial funding to missions of up to €1.9 billion until 2023, including €359.3 million for the Cities Mission. Since the official launch of the Cities Mission on 29 September, preparatory work to start implementation of the mission has advanced fast. The NetZeroCities consortium, tasked with establishing and implementing the work of the Mission Platform, started its work on 1 October.
Info kit for cities (factsheet)
Questions and Answers: How to become part of the Cities Mission
Mission 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities (factsheet)
EU Mission Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Implementation Plan
EU missions website