The European Commission has awarded 10 cities with the EU Mission Label as a part of the NetZeroCities program led by EIT Climate-KIC. This label marks an important step, acknowledging the cities’ plans (Climate City Contracts) to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 and aims to facilitate access to both public and private funding to support this goal.
The cities bestowed with the EU Mission Label include Sønderborg (Denmark), Mannheim (Germany), Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Zaragoza (Spain), Klagenfurt (Austria), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and Stockholm (Sweden).
Thomas Osdoba, Director of the Mission Platform at NetZeroCities, emphasises “The first Mission Cities to secure the Mission Label is a milestone on their way to climate neutrality. We all know how big the challenge is and this key step is a sign of progress and momentum. The EU Mission Label has the power to significantly accelerate the climate transition journey for European Cities and unlock their potential,”
The assessment of Climate City Contracts, submitted by the cities earlier this year to NetZeroCities, was conducted by the European Commission. The contracts outline the cities’ overarching vision for climate neutrality, incorporating action plans and investment strategies. The cities developed their Climate City Contracts collaboratively with local stakeholders, including the private sector and citizens. The contracts serve as innovative governance tools, leveraging existing knowledge and resources to swiftly reduce emissions and overcome various barriers (financial, structural, governance, social, and more), to achieve their climate goals.
The first group of cities submitted their Climate City Contracts in April 2023. These were then subject to a thorough review by the EU Commission with the support of experts, including from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Joint Research Centre (JRC). Upon successful review, cities receive the EU Mission Label, providing enhanced access to EU, national, and regional funding, as well as private investments.
The EU Commission, in collaboration with the Mission Platform, currently managed by the NetZeroCities program, will continue supporting the effective implementation of Climate City Contracts. Cities that have received the EU Mission Label can now use it as a vote of confidence in their climate neutrality plans, especially when seeking support from public and private funders.
The Commission will support cities through the Mission Platform with hands-on advice and funding programs, such as the €32 million Pilot Cities Programme combined with a Twinning Programme. A second call for the Pilot Cities Programme was open until 6 November, with a budget of €20 million.
Anticipating the participation of many other Mission Cities, currently developing their Climate City Contracts, this collective effort is not only leading the way but also inspiring other cities, governments, and institutions to embark on similar climate action journeys.