One hundred European cities
were selected on Thursday
by the European Commission to participate in the
Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, with the
aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2030 through
the development of smart solutions. In addition to
EUR 360 million of Horizon Europe funding for 2022
and 2023, the cities involved will benefit from
advice and assistance, as well as opportunities to
participate in large innovation actions and pilot
projects. The European Committee of the Regions'
Markku Markkula, Member of Espoo City Council,
considers this as a huge opportunity for these
"As these cities are committed to achieving carbon
neutrality by 2030, measures are urgently needed. These
100 mission cities are paving the way for others.
Already this year and in the course of next year, the
EU will provide EUR 360 million to develop new
measures. The amount of EU funding is multiplied with
private and national financing to develop measures
which will lead to a greener, better future,” explains
Mr Markkula, whose city Espoo is one of the 100 cities
participating in the mission.
The Climate Neutral and Smart Cities mission is one of
five EU missions
to tackle pressing societal challenges. Four out of
five missions are directly related to the climate or to
the cleanliness of soil and water. As rapporteur of the
European Committee of the Regions, Mr Markkula has
represented EU cities and regions in the negotiations
on the implementation of the missions. His
was adopted at the plenary session of the European
Committee of the Regions this week.
“Putin's war in Ukraine and against democracy and
freedom in Europe as a whole has urged us to find
solutions quickly and to focus more collective efforts
on these pressing challenges. However, this will not
happen only with decisions in Brussels or at national
level, but requires the involvement of cities and
regions”, Mr Markkula stresses.
“One of the key messages of the opinion is that there
is a significant need for more investment in R&I.
Roughly one third of the technology needed to deliver
energy and other solutions by 2030 is currently
available. The second third is in the prototype phase,
and one third is technology and knowledge that is
currently only being explored in universities and
research institutes. This information is needed and
must be mobilised at local level", he adds.
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.
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