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/BRUSSELS, March 21, 2024, 11:00 GMT, European Commission, RENEWABLE MARKET WATCHTM/ Today, the EU Mission Label was awarded to 23 cities as part of the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, one of the EU Missions under Horizon Europe. The Label recognises the cities' plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030 and aims to facilitate access to public and private funding towards that objective. The first ten cities received the Label in October 2023. The EU Mission Label was awarded by Iliana Ivanova, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth during a ceremony with mayors and city representatives at the EU Research & Innovation Days, the biggest forum in Europe to discuss the future of science and innovation and to co-create solutions with citizens and stakeholders..

The 23 cities that received the label are Ioannina, Kalamata, Kozani, Thessaloniki (Greece), Heidelberg (Germany), Leuven (Belgium), Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere, Turku (Finland), Barcelona, Seville (Spain), Pecs (Hungary), Malmö (Sweden), Guimaraes, Lisbon (Portugal), Florence, Parma (Italy), Marseille, Lyon (France), Limassol (Cyprus) and Izmir (Türkiye).

The EU Mission Label is an important milestone in the cities' work. It acknowledges the successful development of Climate City Contracts, which outline the cities' overall vision for climate neutrality and contain an action plan as well as an investment strategy. Cities co-create their Climate City Contracts with local stakeholders, including the private sector and citizens.

Next Steps

The EU will continue to support the cities in their work on transforming their ambitious plans into a pipeline of projects. This includes new support via the European Investment Bank (EIB). Today, the Commission and the EIB announced an agreement to top up financial advisory services provided by the EIB specifically for cities participating in the Mission, in particular those awarded with the Mission Label. Services including the European Local Energy Assistance (ELENA) and the Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions (JASPERS) are being topped up by close to EUR 19 million, which will be accessible for Mission cities via a central point of contact in the EIB. This agreement will be implemented in the upcoming amendment of the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2024.

Later this year, the Commission will launch a “Cities Mission Capital Hub”. This initiative will help cities that have received the Mission Label to prepare projects for investment, offer them neutral advice on the best financing solutions in close cooperation with existing advisory services, and put them in touch with investors. The Capital Hub should also translate cities' investment strategies into a concrete series of needs for products and services per sector in order for industry to better assess demand and for large and small businesses in the EU to enhance their competitiveness. The Commission is expecting about 30 more Climate City Contracts to be submitted for review in April 2024.

Background

Cities account for more than 70% of global CO₂ emissions and consume over 65% of the world's energy. Urban action is crucial for climate mitigation and can contribute significantly to accelerating the efforts to achieve the legally binding commitment to achieve climate neutrality in the EU as a whole by 2050, as well as to the EU's target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030 and more generally delivering the European Green Deal. The EU Cities Mission aims to help European cities become climate-neutral, offering cleaner air, safer transport and less congestion and noise to their citizens.

In April 2022, 100 cities in the EU and 12 cities in countries associated with Horizon Europe were selected. They are testing innovative cross-sectoral approaches, including citizen engagement, stakeholder management and internal governance, in order to accelerate their path to climate neutrality. By so doing, they will act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.

The Mission's central feature is “Climate City Contracts” (CCCs), which each participating city is developing and implementing. CCCs contain (1) a core commitments part, (2) a Climate Neutrality Action Plan and (3) a Climate Neutrality Investment Plan. They are co-created with citizens and stakeholders with the help of a Mission Platform (run by the NetZeroCities project). The first cities submitted their CCCs to the Commission in spring 2023. On 12 October 2023, 10 cities were awarded the Mission Label: Sønderborg (Denmark), Mannheim (Germany), Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza (Spain), Klagenfurt (Austria), Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Stockholm (Sweden).

The more information about how the cities may contribute to the self-consumption and distributed generation of energy in Europe, you may read here: Europe Net Metering and Self-Consumption Solar PV Market Outlook 2024 ÷ 2033

To download the executive summary brochure with sample pages, please access from here: Europe Net Metering and Self-Consumption Solar PV Market Outlook 2024 ÷ 2033

For a better understanding of the benefits of using our reports, you may read here: Benefit List - Reports of Renewable Market Watch - 2024

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