Mission Cities: A Step Forward Towards Climate Neutrality  

Last Thursday, the 28th of April, the European Commission announced the 100 cities that have been chosen to become climate neutral by 2030. 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).  

From the TetRRIS perspective, it is important to highlight that Tampere, one of the pilot regions involved in the project, was selected to be one of the 100 cities to become climate neutral by 2030. This is a clear example of how the region introduced sustainability as a cornerstone of its Smart Specialisation Strategy in their application of Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI). 

The selected cities will receive 360 million euros from the Horizon Europe funding for the first period of 2022-2023 which will serve as the starting point to pave the way toward climate neutrality by 2030. As stated by the EU Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen: “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.”. For this reason, Mission Cities’ main objective is to ensure that these cities act as successful experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.  

Among several different areas of action, this initiative will put a special emphasis on clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning, considered to be the key fields to start this sustainable transition. Moreover, this programme looks forward to foster collaboration and joint initiatives to boost and create synergies with other ongoing EU programmes.  

In order to start working on the strategies to achieve this ambitious goal, the Commission will invite the 100 chosen cities to create Climate City Contracts. These contracts will be based on an overall plan for climate neutrality across many different sectors such as waste management, transportation, buildings or energy. In the line of the recent smart specialisation strategies, this programme will make an effort to trace the plan taking into account all parts involved: citizens, researchers and the private sector. 

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