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05 October 2021

European Commission launches its mission on 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030

The European Commission launched five new EU missions on Wednesday 29, including its mission on 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. The missions are a new and innovative way to work together and improve the lives of people in Europe and beyond. They aim to tackle big challenges in health, climate and the environment, and to achieve ambitious and inspiring goals in these areas.

The missions, a novelty of Horizon Europe and also an original concept in EU policy, bringing together several Commission services under the authority of nine College members, will support research to deliver on the Commission's main priorities and find responses to some of the greatest challenges we are facing today. 

In the mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, selected cities will involve their citizens in drawing up "Climate City Contracts" to help reach climate neutrality by 2030.

The Factsheet for the mission points to five major actions to be undertaken:

  • The Horizon Europe programme will provide €359.3 million in seed funding during the period 2021-23 to help deliver on the mission;
  • Launch of a Mission Platform to provide technical, regulatory, and financial assistance to cities working on the mission;
  • Cities will prepare, sign and implement Climate City Contracts, co-created with citizens and local stakeholders;
  • Launch a portfolio of research and innovation projects and set up a Global Knowledge Exchange Centre;
  • A network of national, local and regional authorities will support the cities’ transition to climate neutrality.

In the official Communication of the missions, the European Commission described how the missions are a new collaborative approach that provides a mandate to achieve specific goals in a set timeframe. They will also deliver impact by putting research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as with a new way of engaging with citizens, including young people.

On October 11th, the Smart Cities Marketplace hosts a EUSEW side event discussing the "The one billion challenge" of  how to pay for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. Register for that session here: