The City Board of Turku decided on 7 December that Turku will apply to participate in the European Union Mission on “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities in Europe by 2030”.

The Missions are a new element of the EU’s research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe. The goal of the Cities’ Mission is to help at least 100 cities to become climate-neutral by the end of this decade. These frontrunner cities function as innovation hubs and pave the way for all European cities to become climate neutral by 2050.

Turku will be carbon-neutral by 2029 when the city celebrates its 800th anniversary, and a climate positive city area thereafter. The climate plan was accepted unanimously by the City Council in June 2018.

At the moment, Turku is updating its climate plan to strengthen the actions. The revised plan is co-created with experts from different city departments as well as local and regional stakeholders.

“Turku’s climate target and the timetable of updating the climate plan fit well with the Mission process. As one of the frontrunner cities, Turku could get support for reaching the targets, and at the same time learn and share our successes with other cities”, says Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

The selection of the 100 cities will be made by the European Commission, based on the cities’ expressions of interest. The selection results are expected in March 2022.

The selected cities will, together with their local stakeholders, develop Climate City Contracts which will include the political commitment, climate and investment plans and innovative models for governance and citizens and stakeholder engagement.

The cities will receive tailor-made technical support from the Mission platform. The Mission label is expected to give visibility to the cities’ commitments and facilitate access to EU funding.

Turku has already managed to half the emissions from the 1990 level by 2020. Thanks to the systematic and science-based climate work, Turku was nominated as the best mid-sized climate city in the EU’s Covenant of Mayors Awards in 2020.