Today, the European Commission published the list of the 100 EU cities that have been selected to be part of the EU Mission for 100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030, also known as the Cities Mission. The designated cities come from all 27 EU countries, with 12 additional cities coming from countries associated or with the potential of being associated to Horizon Europe. These cities were selected from among 362 eligible cities that expressed an interest in becoming climate-neutral by 2030. The Cities Mission will now work with different stakeholders to ensure that the designated cities reach climate neutrality by 2030 and that they act as hubs for experimentation and innovation and enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.
NetZeroCities, the EU Mission Platform for Climate Neutral and Smart Cities, will work as a service-oriented platform providing tailor-made advice and comprehensive support to help cities overcome the structural, institutional and cultural barriers they currently face to achieve their net-zero goal in a socially inclusive way. World-class practitioners will provide expertise in many different fields such as democratic governance, social innovation, citizen engagement, and capital and financial structuring to address all aspects of the systemic change needed for climate neutrality. Services to cities will comprise tailored, in-person support and a dedicated online platform that brings together new and existing tools and resources to help them in their net-zero journey.
In addition to supporting the cities that are part of the EU’s Mission on Climate-neutral and Smart Cities by 2030, NetZeroCities will launch a series of Pilots to test innovative ideas and help drive rapid learning about how to achieve climate neutrality at city scale. NetZeroCities will also run a Twinning programme to enable peer learning and promote the replication of solutions between pilots and other European cities.
NetZeroCities has set up two City Panels to work as a consultation platform on the support services that will be offered to cities. The Practitioner Panel, composed of technical and administrative staff actively working on climate neutrality, will evaluate services, solutions and tools developed for cities. The Strategic Panel, meanwhile, is composed of Mayors, Deputy Mayors and/or high-level decision-makers actively involved with climate governance and strategic policymaking. This latter group will principally advise and observe the Climate City Contract process, among other activities.
Following the selection of the cities, the next step will be the development of Climate City Contracts (CCC). These contracts, co-created with local stakeholders and citizens and supported by NetZeroCities, will contain a climate action and investment plan to reach climate neutrality by 2030. They will constitute a political commitment to the EU, as well as national and regional authorities and citizens and will pave the way for an inclusive, thriving, climate-resilient and sustainable future.
The European Commission has made available the following documents and materials: