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Seven Swedish municipalities in the EU's major initiative for 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030

Gävle, Gothenburg, Helsingborg, Lund, Malmö, Stockholm and Umeå. These are the Swedish municipalities that are now part of the EU's mission for climate-neutral cities in 2030 - Cities Mission. A total of 100 cities have been selected out of 377 applicants. 

Three of the seven local council chairs celebrating today: Hans Lindberg (S), Umeå municipality, Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh (S), Malmö city and Peter Danielsson (M), Helsingborg city.

- "It is unbelievable and absolutely fantastic that so many of 'our' cities came along! It will provide even more energy and new experiences and lessons to speed up the climate transition in all of Sweden's municipalities," says Olga Kordas, Viable Cities Program Manager.

Last autumn, the European Commission opened for applications from all European cities that want to participate in the mission of 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030. From Sweden, 13 municipalities applied, all of which are part of the Viable Cities initiative Climate Neutral Cities 2030. It is now clear that seven of them have been selected. The City of Malmö is one of them.

- In Malmö, we have been working on sustainable urban development for a long time and we have a clear ambition to be at the forefront of the climate transition. The latest IPCC report shows that cities play a crucial role in the world's success. The fact that we are now one of the designated cities in the EU makes me both proud and happy, but above all, it gives us the power to continue to drive development further," says Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh (S), member of the Malmö City Council Chairman .

The cities in the EU Cities Mission will lead the way in accelerating the transition to climate neutrality for all European cities. These pioneers will take bold and concrete steps that truly break the emissions curve while contributing to a more sustainable and inclusive society. A European version of Climate City Contract for cities, inspired by Climate City Contract 2030 developed in Sweden, will be one of the tools.

- This is a confirmation of the innovative climate work that the City of Helsingborg is doing and that our aggressive work with H22 is just right, which has played a major role in our selection. To become climate neutral by 2030, strong innovation partnerships are required. Being part of this EU initiative opens up lots of European opportunities for Helsingborg and its stakeholders," says Peter Danielsson (M), member of the municipal executive board Chairman in the City of Helsingborg.

Hans Lindberg (S), Member of the Executive Board of Umeå Municipality Chairman , agrees with his colleagues that the Cities Mission will open up new opportunities.

- This is a big deal for us! Our long-standing commitment together with the other cities in Viable Cities has been a model for the European initiative and now we have the confidence to become one of the 100 pioneers. This gives us even greater opportunities to collaborate with other cities in Europe to increase our pace of transition in Umeå. This is an important part of how we can find new solutions together and reach our climate goals," he says.

Viable Cities vice Chairman Anders Wijkman stresses the importance of cities in the climate transition.

- Cities account for 70 percent of climate emissions and are therefore key players in climate work. It's great that a number of cities in Sweden have been selected, it will be exciting to learn from each other. At the same time, we should not underestimate the challenges. Making cities climate neutral is necessary but at the same time virgin territory. No one has done this before," says Anders Wijkman.

The Swedish Energy Agency is one of the five government agencies working for the climate transition through Viable Cities Climate City Contract 2030. The Swedish Energy Agency also has the main responsibility for Viable Cities as a strategic innovation program.

- The climate transition requires interaction between all levels of society. Through the EU's Cities Mission, we reach a new level and can increase the pace of work for a modern fossil-free welfare society, both in Sweden through Climate City Contract 2030 - which is co-created by the Swedish Energy Agency, four other government agencies, Viable Cities and 23 Swedish municipalities - and with today's EU investment also throughout Europe, says Robert Andrén, Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.

Vinnova's mission is to strengthen Sweden's ability to contribute to sustainable growth.

- The EU Cities Mission is a concrete and powerful mobilization for climate-neutral cities in 2030 throughout Europe. Vinnova promotes Sweden's participation in the EU's Horizon Europe and it is gratifying to see that Viable Cities and Swedish cities are active and strong partners in the program's continued work, says Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova.

On June 13, the selected cities will gather for a joint kick-off in Brussels. To support the implementation of the Cities Mission, the collaboration platform NetZeroCities brings together experts and practitioners from across Europe, including from Viable Cities and Swedish cities. Many different activities are planned to facilitate the exchange of experience and learning between cities. At the same time, those cities that applied but were not selected will be offered other opportunities to participate in the initiative.