Date: 25 Nov 2021 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission A call for Expression of Interest for cities that wish to participate in the Climate-Neutral and Smart-Cities Mission has opened today. The objectives of the mission are to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and to ensure that these cities act as leading examples to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. The Mission will support the European Green Deal- a set of policy measures to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. The mission must include at least one city from each member state. Therefore, Irish cities have the opportunity and preparation time to respond to the call. The closing date to register is 31st January 2022. Cities interested can register HERE. Cities comprise of only 4% of the EU’s land area but are home to 75% of EU citizens. Furthermore, cities consume over 65% of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. Member states with 5 or less cities such as Ireland may qualify with cities with a minimum population of 10,000. The Implementation Plan indicates the following will be considered: A city’s preparedness and a city’s ambition Political support Committed involving citizens and relevant stakeholders in the CCC The call for expression of interest will request information on: The City’s key motivations, strengths and assets, ecosystem, partnerships, local policy landscape and resources (membership of EU networks etc), local political ambition, proposed team, inter-city collaboration, expect results and impact, communication plan. Benefits to Cities According to the European Commission, some of the benefits the mission brings to participating cities include: 1) Tailor-made advice and assistance from a “Mission Platform” 2) Unlocking additional funding and financing opportunities through a “Mission label”/ Funding opportunities for cities to be part of large innovation actions, pilot projects and demonstrators 3) Support through a national coordination network 4) Networking opportunities, learning and exchange of experiences among cities 5) Involvement of citizens and local communities for climate neutral solutions 6) High visibility – raising political profile and attractiveness for investment and skilled workers Find out more about the Cities Mission HERE. EU Missions EU Missions are a coordinated effort by the Commission to pool the necessary resources in terms of funding programmes, policies and regulations. They also aim to mobilise and activate stakeholders such as EU Member States, regional and local authorities, research institutes, farmers and land managers, entrepreneurs and investors to create real and sustainable impact. Missions will engage with citizens to boost the uptake of new solutions and approaches. EU Missions will support Europe’s transformation into a greener, healthier, more inclusive and resilient continent. They aim to bring actionable benefits to the European community. There are five proposed missions include; Adaptation to Climate Change Cancer Restore our Ocean and Waters by 2030 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 A Soil Deal for Europe Each of these missions can be explored in more detail HERE.