The Commission launched November 25, 2021 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.
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. 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 April 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.