Helsinki has been selected as one of the 100 climate-neutral and smart cities of the European Commission. The 100 cities represent all 27 member states of the European Union and are committed to achieving climate-neutrality by 2030.
The ‘100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030’ mission is one of the five missions of the European Union’s new Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. The selected cities will act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. The achievement of the mission’s objectives is supported with significant development funding.
Helsinki will benefit from tailored counselling and support aimed at the selected cities, funding opportunities and possibilities to join major pilot projects. The mission will also provide networking opportunities, exchange of best practices between the cities and support for the involvement of citizens.
Cities Mission will receive €360 million in Horizon Europe funding for the period of 2022–2023. The mission’s research and innovation activities will address clean mobility, energy-efficiency and green urban planning, and offer the opportunity to create joint initiatives and deepen cooperation in synergy with the other EU programmes.
“It is great that Helsinki has been selected as one of the 100 pioneering cities. Helsinki’s own goal of creating a carbon-neutral Helsinki by 2030 is ambitious, but achievable. This requires focussing, in particular, on energy- and transport-related acts that have the greatest impact on reducing emissions. We are also very happy to share the most effective practices with other cities. At EU level, the goal is to make the whole of Europe carbon-neutral by 2050. The key role of cities in this line of work has been identified – climate actions take place in cities. I believe that participating in this EU Mission will contribute to the achievement of Helsinki’s climate goals and strengthen cooperation between cities, the state and on the EU level,” says Mayor Juhana Vartiainen.
The call for expression of interest ended on 31 January 2022. A total of 377 cities submitted an expression of interest. The 100 EU cities selected today represent 12% of the EU population. In addition to Helsinki, Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere and Turku were selected from Finland.