Aggiornato il: 03/05/2023

three with a text: 100 climate-neutral and smart european cities by 2030

The European Union is committed to leading climate action thanks to ambitious targets and guidelines to deliver. The European Green Deal Strategy, the Horizon 2020 and Horizon Europe research and innovation programmes and other European Union policies and directives push member States towards a 55% reduction in emissions by 2030 and climate neutrality by 2050. Cities play a strategic role in achieving these objectives: they occupy only 4% of the EU's surface area but they host 75% of EU citizens, they consume over 65% of the world's energy and they represent over 70% of global CO2 emissions.

Cities therefore have a major role to play not only in meeting climate goals and objectives set by international policy frameworks such as the COP21 Paris Agreement but in ensuring that decarbonisation efforts are equitable and contribute to the well-being of the communities.

Achieving climate neutrality in an inclusive way will be an extraordinary undertaking for any city and it will require profound and systemic changes. Government leadership will be key. 
In accordance with this purpose, the actions of industry, education and research institutions and civil society organizations will need to align in terms of necessary policies, governance and capital investments.

The Mission "Climate Neutrality and Smart Cities"

The European Commission has launched, as part of Horizon Europe, five research and innovation missions with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of funding, pursuing clearly identified big objectives and solving some of the biggest challenges of our time.

Each mission includes a portfolio of actions - research projects, policy measures or even legislative initiatives - aimed at achieving, within a set time frame, a bold, measurable and societally relevant goal that could not be achieved through single actions. To do this, the missions will need to mobilize additional resources at European, national and local level, to link activities across different disciplines and different types of research and innovation and to make it easier for citizens to understand the value of investing in research and innovation.

Among the objectives of the missions, there is to reach 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and ensure that these cities act as hubs for experimentation and innovation to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. The participation in the mission will put selected cities at the forefront of the transition to climate neutrality, as part of the European Green Deal.

The cities, which belong to this mission like our city together with Bergamo, Bologna, Florence, Milan, Padua, Parma, Rome and Turin, will be called upon to prepare and implement a City Contract on Climate, co-created with all local stakeholders and citizens.

Prato in the top 100 Cities

The Municipality of Prato has been selected by the European Commission among the 100 cities of the Union that will participate in the mission "100 Smart Cities with Zero Climate Impact by 2030", the so-called "City Mission".
Between 2022-23, the Mission will be able to count on approximately 360 million euros in funding from the Horizon Europe program to launch synergistic paths based on innovation with the aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2030 and thanks to which different sectors they will be able to cooperate on smart, digital and other solutions.

These key sectors are: 

  • Energy (building, equipment, facilities) and energy production and distribution
  • Transportation
  • Waste management 
  • Industrial processes and use of products 
  • Agriculture, forestry and other land uses

The City Contract on Climate together with the action plan for climate neutrality will have to be signed between each city with the European Commission through the involvement of citizens, civil society, research organizations and the private sector.

Discover the cities selected by the European Commission for the challenge - file in italian language (212.35 KB) File with pdf extension

Discover the projects and initiatives of the Municipality of Prato to face the challenge of climate neutrality - file in italian language (1.58 MB) File with pdf extension

Net Zero Cities

Net Zero Cities (NZC) is the platform set up by the European Commission to help cities overcome the current structural, institutional and cultural barriers they face to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

NZC will support the EU's mission "100 Climate Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030", recently launched by the Horizon Europe programme, helping European cities and providing them solutions they need to reach the Net Zero goal in a socially inclusive way.

New and existing tools, resources and skills will be developed, implemented and promoted in a single platform accessible to all cities through an online portal. In addition, Net Zero Cities will sustain a number of pilot projects to foster rapid learning on how to achieve climate neutrality on a local scale and will operate a twinning program to enable peer learning.

Discover the NetZeroCities platform.


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