- The Vice-President of the European Commission and head of the European Green Pact, Maroš Šefčovič, announced this morning, in Brussels, during the session of the European Week of Regions and Cities.
- The Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza climate agreements include include the commitments of the Government of Spain and were prepared with the support of the national platform citiES 2030.
- Spain is the first country in Europe where all the cities included in the European Mission have already submitted their climate agreements. Only five other European cities have also received the “Mission Label” in this first stage (Cluj-Napoca, Klagenfurt, Mannheim, Sonderborg, and Stockholm).
The European Commission, through its Vice-President and head of the European Green Pact, Maroš Šefčovič, announced this morning in Brussels, during the European Week of Regions and Cities, that five Spanish cities (Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza) will receive the “Mission Label” (Mission Label), following the evaluation of the climate agreements, as recognition by the Commission of the process promoted by the cities and as a tool to help facilitate access to national, regional and European Union funding, as well as to private investment in the framework of the European Mission of Cities.
The European Commission launched, in 2021, within the Horizon Europe Program, five missions, with the objective of accelerating the implementation of the European Green Pact. Among them, the Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission, which is one of the main instruments for putting innovation at the service of the ecological and digital transition of cities. The Mission involves administrations, companies, investors and citizens with the aim of promoting 100 EU cities to achieve climate neutrality by 2030, becoming a hub of innovation and experimentation for all European cities to reach this same goal by mid-century.
On November 25, 2021, the Commission launched the call for “expression of interest” so that cities could apply to be part of this Mission, sending information on their current situation, ongoing actions and future plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030. The call closed at the end of January 2022, with a total of 377 candidate cities from all EU member states, including 25 Spanish cities, and eight associated countries (including the United Kingdom and Norway).
The selection process concluded in April 2022, with the announcement of the 100 EU cities invited to join the European Mission, in addition to another 12 from Partner States. Among them, seven Spanish cities were selected (Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Zaragoza), which account for 16% of the population of our country.
SUPPORT FROM THE GOVERNMENT OF SPAIN
The Government of Spain has supported the European Cities Mission since its inception, thanks to the special commitment and engagement of Vice President Teresa Ribera in this initiative, demonstrating its commitment to address the climate emergency from and with cities.
With the aim of helping all cities to move towards climate neutrality and participate in the European Mission, the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO), through the Biodiversity Foundation, with the support of the Spanish Office for Climate Change, launched last year the collaborative platform for climate neutrality in Spanish cities, citiES 2030, last year launched the collaborative platform for the climate neutrality of Spanish cities, citiES 2030, in line with the European Commission’s request to Member States to create national platforms of this nature to facilitate the deployment of the Cities Mission.
This platform is aimed at providing services to facilitate and accelerate the sustainable transformation of all Spanish cities with more than 20,000 inhabitants that wish to make the commitment to move towards climate neutrality by 2030. In particular, knowledge exchange and capacity building services are offered, as well as services related to the development of the Mission (support for the preparation and implementation of climate agreements, development of innovative financing instruments, mechanisms for citizen involvement, etc.). All of this, within the framework of a multi-stakeholder space for collaboration and innovation, which brings together agents from civil society, citizens, government, the private sector and academia, as established by the Mission’s own governance model.
CITY CLIMATE AGREEMENTS AND THE MISSION LABEL
The first step for the development of the Mission is the preparation of a climate agreement(Climate City Contract) co-created between the various stakeholders, governments, local actors and citizens. Climate agreements identify commitments to develop innovative solutions for climate neutrality in all relevant sectors. According to the model developed by NetZeroCities, the agreements must include an emissions baseline, an action plan with the roadmap for implementing the commitments, and an investment plan outlining the funding and sources of financing needed to fulfill the action plan.
In March 2023, five Spanish mission cities (Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza) presented their first version of the climate agreement. These agreements include the commitments of the Government of Spain and the cities were prepared with the support of the national platform citiES 2030.
The agreements of these five Spanish cities have been evaluated by the European Commission and now receive the “Mission Label”, which is intended as recognition by the Commission of the process promoted by the cities and as a tool to facilitate access to national, regional and EU funding, as well as private investment.
In addition, 5 other European cities also receive the Mission Label in this first stage (Cluj-Napoca, Klagenfurt, Mannheim, Sonderborg, and Stockholm), so that Spain maintains its leadership in the process of urban transformation towards climate neutrality.
Barcelona and Seville presented their climate agreements last September, along with 25 other European cities, and are now in the evaluation process to be eligible to receive the Mission Label. Thus, Spain is the first country in Europe in which all the cities included in the European Mission have already presented their climate agreements.
The European Mission of Cities is demonstrating the capacity to promote urban transformation through multi-stakeholder collaboration, driving the development of project portfolios that enable the transformation of cities towards decarbonization, improving the quality of life of citizens and contributing to generate economic development and employment opportunities. Spain is pioneering this process and Spanish cities, with the support of the Government through the citiES 2030 platform, are leading the development of the European Mission.