A Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities

Horizon Europe will incorporate, as a new element, research and innovation missions. To start with, five mission areas have been selected – one of them being Climate Neutral and Smart Cities. Each mission has a dedicated Mission Board consisting of 15 experts, which is supported by a Mission Secretariat and an Assembly. The task of the Mission Board is to develop, together with stakeholders and citizens, the research and innovation activities that will contribute to the mission. The Mission Assembly, in which ERRIN is represented, aims to provide an additional pool of ideas, knowledge and expertise to the mission.

The Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities proposes to support 100 European cities in their systemic transformation towards climate-neutrality by 2030. The Mission aims to create a bottom-up approach towards achieving climate neutrality supported by a Climate City Contract, which requires the participation of the entire local ecosystem and support from all governance levels.


ERRIN inputs

ERRIN has taken an active role in shaping the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities. Driven by the Smart Cities working group leaders, ERRIN is closely following the work of the Mission Board. First inputs were already provided to the Mission Board members before the discussion paper was published by the Mission Board end 2019 highlighting their proposals.

In January 2020, the key elements of the Mission were further discussed in a Smart Cities working group meeting dedicated to the mission. The Smart Cities, Transport, Energy and Climate Change working group leaders continued the work on the ERRIN contribution and invited the wide ERRIN membership to share their feedback on the Mission. This work has resulted in an ERRIN contribution, which provides recommendations in relation to the ambitions, financing, selection process and set up of the Mission and makes practical suggestions on its implementation.

Key elements

Some of the key elements highlighted by ERRIN include:

The ecosystem approach. This approach supports the inclusion and collaboration of all actors at local level, including administrations, the private sector, knowledge providers, and most notably, the citizens. The local administrations cannot reach the climate neutrality alone, but rather take a facilitator role and ensure the involvement of industry, academia and civil society towards a common goal.

The flexible definition of a city. The Mission should ensure that everyone who is ready to commit to the ambition of climate neutrality can participate. The participation should not be hindered by the size of a town/city/region, but rather encourage the inclusion of everybody - from small towns to larger metropolitan areas and regions.

The elements of the Climate City Contract/Pact. The Contract should include a clearly outlined roadmap with the actions that need to be implemented to reach the target; a well-defined business plan/financial concept ensuring that the actions can be financed and implemented; a governance roadmap highlighting how each actor group is collaborating and contributing, and; clustering with other cities/regions on a European level based on similar conditions and joint interests, ensuring mutual learning and replication.

Next steps

The “city mission” to be part of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan and the Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022.

Latest Updates

  • By Heidi Johansson

ERRIN Position on the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities

ERRIN has, under the leadership of the Smart Cities working group, developed a position paper on the development of the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities.

  • By Heidi Johansson

Mission Board Proposal: 100 climate neutral cities by 2030 by and for the citizens

This paper presents the proposal of the Mission Board for the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities and was published in end 2019.

  • By Heidi Johansson

ERRIN Contribution to the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities

Please find attached the second ERRIN contribution to the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities.

  • By Heidi Johansson

ERRIN Draft Contribution to the Mission on Climate Neutral Cities

Please find attached ERRIN's first draft contribution to the Mission on Climate Neutral Cities.

  • By Hilary Webb

Mission on 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030

The EUREC is organising the workshop 'Mission on 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030', in reference to the specific Mission planned for the Horizon Europe funding programme. 

  • By Heidi Johansson

Smart Cities WG Webinar: Towards climate-neutrality in Horizon Europe - A city mission and an urban partnership

Welcome to the second Smart Cities WG meeting of the year where we will discuss the road towards climate-neutrality in Horizon Europe, by taking a closer look at the developments of the Mission on Climate Neutral and Smart Cities and the Driving Urban Transitions to a Sustainable Future (DUT) Partnership.