The European Commission has announced the 100 EU cities that will participate in the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, the so-called Cities Mission.
The 100 cities come from all 27 Member States, with 12 additional cities coming from countries associated or with the potential of being associated to Horizon Europe, the EU’s research and innovation programme (2021-2027).
Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission, commented on the announcement: “The green transition is making its way all over Europe right now. But there’s always a need for trailblazers, who set themselves even higher goals. These cities are showing us the way to a healthier future. We will support them on this! Let’s begin the work today.”
The participating countries include France, Germany, Poland, Spain and Italy.
Despite leaving the European Union, United Kingdom is expected to become associated to Horizon Europe, with Bristol and Glasgow as participating cities.
The Cities Mission will receive €360 million of Horizon Europe funding covering the period 2022-23, to start the innovation paths towards climate neutrality by 2030.
The research and innovation actions will address clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning, and offer the possibility to build joint initiatives and ramp up collaborations in synergies with other EU programmes.
Benefits for cities include tailor-made advice and assistance from a dedicated Mission Platform run by NetZeroCities, additional funding and financing opportunities and the possibility to join large innovation actions and pilot projects.
The Mission also provides networking opportunities, exchange of best practices between cities and support to engage citizens in the mission.
Next the Commission will invite the 100 selected cities to develop Climate City Contracts, which will include an overall plan for climate neutrality across all sectors such as energy, buildings, waste management and transport, together with related investment plans. This process will involve citizens, research organisations and the private sector.
Moreover, in light of the overwhelming interest from 377 cities to join the mission, the Commission is also putting in place support for cities that were not selected, including support through the Mission Platform and funding opportunities under the Cities Mission Work Programme of Horizon Europe.