As cities account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions and are home to 75% of EU citizens, they play a pivotal role in delivering solutions to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve a climate neutral future.

The European Commission has launched the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities (the EU Cities Mission) that aims to deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 and ensure that these cities add as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. NetZeroCities manages the EU Cities Mission Platform supporting the 112 European Mission Cities selected by the European Commission in their journey towards climate neutrality.

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Recently, 10 Mission Cities were awarded the EU Mission Label, an important milestone as recognition of cities’ plans to achieve climate-neutrality. The EU Mission Label, in particular, aims to facilitate access to public and private funding towards that objective. Cities will continue to develop their plans, the ‘Climate City Contract’, to guide their climate transition.

Climate City Contracts are central to the EU Cities Mission, detailing cities’ plans for achieving climate neutrality by 2030. They are developed in an iterative process and in collaboration with local stakeholders. Cities will continue to update and improve their Climate City Contracts as new knowledge is gained and learnings emerge to transition faster towards a climate neutral future.

The first cities to be awarded the EU Cities Mission Label are Sønderborg (Denmark), Mannheim (Germany), Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Zaragoza (Spain), Klagenfurt (Austria), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), and Stockholm (Sweden). They will serve as trailblazers, demonstrating an inclusive approach to policymaking at the local level. They are paving the way for other cities to follow suit and move faster towards a fair green and digital transition.

Supporting cities all the way in their journey towards 2030 Climate Neutrality

To assist cities with this process NetZeroCities provides a variety of tools and services. NetZeroCities aims to enable European cities and citizens to show the way forward towards an inclusive, thriving, climate resilient, and sustainable future. To do so, it tailors advanced capabilities related to systemic change, citizen engagement and democratic governance, capital and financial structuring, and social innovation, to ensure cities have access to the best expertise available.​

New and existing tools, resources, and expertise are developed and promoted on a one-stop platform accessible to all cities through the NetZeroCities Portal. The Portal hosts the Climate Transition Map, a step-by-step guide designed for Mission Cities that can also be useful to any city interested in taking ambitious climate action, alongside many other resources in its Knowledge Repository. The Portal is also home to a Finance Guidance Tool and a Capability Building Programme for Mission Cities, among other resources, tools and services.

Cities also benefit from in-person support with city advisors allocated to each city and from experts in various fields of climate action. In-person gatherings, including the NetZeroCities Summer School which is designed to help cities accelerate the design and implementation of their climate strategies, also provide a platform for exchange, experimentation, and learning. The next edition will be a Winter School taking place in Budapest on 22-24 November where cities will embark on an intensive learning track and work together on their climate ambitions.

NetZeroCities also provides hands-on support through several programmes, for instance: the NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme and the NetZeroCities Twinning Learning Programme where cities are selected to embark upon unprecedented climate action acting as testbeds to implement innovative approaches for rapid decarbonisation and learn from each other whilst doing so.

NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme

The NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme helps cities to test bold and innovative approaches to decarbonisation at city scale. Pilot Cities receive funding, benefit from a peer learning programme, and obtain expert support from NetZeroCities Consortium partners and City Advisors. In March 2023, 53 Pilot Cities were selected to join the NetZeroCities Pilot Cities Programme with another call for Pilot Cities having just closed in November where more cities will be selected to join the programme.

NetZeroCities Twinning Programme

The Twinning Programme is a two-year programme that pairs selected Twin Cities with a Pilot City Activity to exchange knowledge and best practices, enabling a peer learning framework. Ultimately, Twin Cities will embed the learnings and replicate the systemic transformation methodologies and innovative approaches demonstrated by the Pilot activities on their journey to climate neutrality. In September, NetZeroCities announced the results of the Call for Twin Cities

LGI’s Involvement in NetZeroCities

LGI takes part in several aspects of the project, strongly contributing to the project management, and the design and operation of the NetZeroCities Portal used by cities as their ‘go-to’ service to accompany them on their journey to climate neutrality. LGI also leads the communication of the project, including website and social media, and the outreach to cities with the overarching goal to maximise the impact of the activities as well as deliver the best possible support to cities on their journey to climate neutrality.

Playing a significant part in such an innovative and important project working alongside passionate Consortium partners makes the work we do very rewarding. Achieving climate neutrality in an inclusive way will be an extraordinary undertaking for each and every city, requiring profound and systemic changes. LGI is thrilled to be part of this movement to help cities build a more sustainable future.

Learn more about NetZeroCities:

NetZeroCities is a consortium of 34 partners from 27 European countries, led by Climate-KIC, that works as a service-oriented platform supported by world-class practitioners to help cities overcome the current structural, institutional, and cultural barriers they face in order to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. It supports the 112 cities selected by the European Commission to join the EU Cities Mission on their pathways towards climate neutrality by 2030.


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