European union Mission on 100 Climate-neutral and Smart Cities in Europe by 2030 aims to support at least 100 cities to become carbon-neutral by the end of the decade. The City of Turku was selected as one of the 100 frontrunner cities.

The 100 cities selected to the Mission program should act as experimentation hubs and pave the way to enable all cities in Europe to reach climate-neutrality by 2050.

Turku’s City Council decided 7 December 2021 that Turku will apply to join the Mission, and the city submitted its application with the support of local, regional and national stakeholders at the end of January. The European Commission published the selection result 28 April.

- We are very proud of the selection result! Turku wants to be one of the world’s leading climate and nature cities, and at the same time bring wellbeing to citizens and new opportunities for businesses, says  Mayor of Turku Minna Arve.

Turku has just updated its climate plan to strengthen the actions to reach climate neutrality by 2029, when the city celebrates its 800th anniversary. From thereon Turku intends to become increasingly climate positive city area, with net negative emissions. The updated climate plan also engages citizens and stakeholders stronger in the climate work and puts emphasis on co-creating new climate solutions. The Mission is expected to support Turku in implementing the plan.

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

The EU will fund the first phase of the Mission 2022-23 with 360 M€ through the Horizon Europe program. The Mission platform NetZeroCities will provide necessary tailor-made technical, regulatory and financial assistance to cities.

- The selection as part of the EU Mission will further strengthen Turku’s climate work and will provide new opportunities for the stakeholders in the Turku region to participate in European projects. The Mission will also support citizens’ and stakeholders’ opportunities to participate and influence, concludes Turku’s Climate Director Risto Veivo.

Turku is also actively giving input for the development of the Mission platform services. Mayor of Turku Minna Arve was selected to the high-level strategic panel, which advises the Mission platform work and the Climate City Contract process. Turku’s Climate Team’s Senior Specialist Miika Meretoja is a member of the Mission platform expert panel.

From Finland also Helsinki, Espoo, Tampere, Lahti and Lappeenranta were selected to the Cities Mission program. The Finnish national mission expert group, led by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Transport and Communications, will be coordinating the establishment of the national mission network.