The Commission has announced the 100 EU cities that will participate in the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, the so-called Cities Mission.
Among those, 31 are from the Central and Eastern European region, namely from Estonia (Tartu), Latvia (Liepāja, Riga), Lithuania (Taurage, Vilnius), Poland (Krakow, Łódź, Rzeszow, Warsaw, Wrocław), Czechia (Liberec), Slovakia (Bratislava, Košice), Hungary (Budapest, Miskolc, Pécs), Bulgaria (Gabrovo, Sofia), Romania (Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Suceava), Greece (Athens, Ioannina, Kalamata, Kozani, Thessaloniki, Trikala), Slovenia (Kranj, Ljubljana, Velenje) and Croatia (Zagreb).
Overall, urban areas are home to 75 per cent of EU citizens and globally, urban areas consume over 65 per cent of the world’s energy, accounting for more than 70 per cent of CO2 emissions. It is therefore important that cities act as experimentation and innovation ecosystems to help all others in their transition to become climate-neutral by 2050.
“The green transition is making its way all over Europe right now,” said Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. “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.”
The Cities Mission will receive 360 million euros of Horizon Europe funding covering the period 2022-23, to start the innovation paths towards climate neutrality by 2030. The research and innovation actions will address clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning and offer the possibility to build joint initiatives and ramp up collaborations in synergies with other EU programmes.
“Cities are at the forefront of the fight against the climate crisis,” added Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans. “Whether it’s greening urban spaces, tackling air pollution, reducing energy consumption in buildings, or advancing clean mobility solutions: cities are often the hub of the changes Europe needs to succeed in our transition to climate neutrality. My congratulations to the cities selected today, I look forward to the solutions you will develop to guide your inhabitants and businesses towards a greener future.”