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Swedish cities and government agencies inspire climate change in Europe

European Viable Cities Day 8 Dec, 2021

Countries around the world are struggling to agree on measures to reduce climate impact. Today, December 8, on European Viable Cities Day, 23 Swedish cities demonstrated that they are taking the lead and working concretely to reach the goal of climate neutral and sustainable cities by 2030.

- Of course, choices at national level are extremely important, but cities have great potential to drive climate change in practice - especially when we work together as we do here.

Olga Kordas, Program Manager Viable Cities

The climate transition needs to be much faster to meet the UN's 2015 Paris Agreement goal of keeping the increase in the average global temperature below 1.5 degrees. To make the profound changes required, we need to explore new ways of working, at all levels of society.

The Viable Cities initiative Climate Neutral Cities 2030 started in 2019 with nine Swedish cities. Uppsala Municipality has been involved from the start, and sees the benefits of making the transition.

- The climate transition will create many new green jobs. For these jobs to end up in Sweden and Uppsala, we must be at the forefront. That is why we will continue to take the lead in the climate transition," says Erik Pelling (S), member of the municipal executive board Chairman.

Many initiatives are underway around the world to address the climate crisis. The Climate Neutral Cities 2030 initiative contributes to the transition by working together, learning from each other, and testing new approaches. One example of this is the Climate City Contract 2030 tool, which the partners in the initiative are developing together.

- Our test and demonstration site for sustainable mobility and logistics is the beginning of our joint journey towards a climate-neutral society. Through Climate City Contract 2030, we are entering into an exciting collaboration with like-minded people where we can benefit from each other's experiences, knowledge and innovations," says Johan Abrahamsson (M), member of the municipal board Chairman in Mariestad, who has been part of the initiative since October this year.

The European Viable Cities Day on 8 December - organized by the European Commission Representation in Sweden and Viable Cities - is a bridge between all the work going on in Sweden and the EU's work for a climate-neutral continent. Representatives from Europe, from Swedish government agencies and from the Climate Neutral Cities 2030 initiative shared experiences and inspired each other.

- "European Viable Cities Day is an important forum for exchanging experiences between Sweden and the EU, because in order to achieve climate-neutral cities by 2030, we need to work together, in new ways and across all borders," says Anders Wijkman, Vice Chairman Viable Cities.

- There is little time left until 2030. We need to coordinate the actions of different actors to be as effective as possible in the climate transition. The climate contracts create an important arena for sharing knowledge between each other," says Lena Erixon, Director-General of the Swedish Transport Administration, which is the latest authority to join the work.

During the European Viable Cities Day, the joint work with Climate City Contract 2030 was manifested in a ceremony with the political leadership of 23 Swedish municipalities, directors general from five government agencies and the Viable Cities management.

- We are in a hurry to reach the goal of keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees. It feels hopeful that today we have signed an even more ambitious Climate City Contract than last year, and that many more of us are working together," says Cecilia Schelin Seidegård, Chairman Viable Cities.


read more about Climate City Contract 2030

Quotes from the signing parties

Gävle municipality

- The work to become a sustainable municipality is one of our most important tasks and means that we need to create even better conditions for business and municipal residents to make smart, sustainable choices. Within the framework of Viable Cities, we can, in exchange with other municipalities, develop the work to achieve our goal of being a climate-neutral municipality by 2030," says Åsa Wiklund Lång, member of the municipal board of Chairman Gävle municipality.

Umeå municipality

- "We have ambitious climate targets here in Umeå, but to meet them we must increase the pace of change. The climate contract provides us with a form of cooperation with the government authorities, which is absolutely crucial for making the transition possible at local level," says Hans Lindberg (S), member of the municipal executive board Chairman Umeå. - The climate contract is an important link between the collaboration we develop locally and the collaboration we are now building on with government agencies and other municipalities. All this must be connected if we are to succeed in turning the emissions curve downwards," says Hans Lindberg (S), member of the municipal board Chairman in Umeå.

Mariestad municipality

- Mariestad is the small town that dares to make a difference in the green transition with innovative solutions. Our test and demonstration site for sustainable mobility and logistics is the beginning of the joint journey towards a climate-neutral society. Through Climate City Contract 2030, we enter into an exciting collaboration with like-minded people where we can benefit from each other's experiences, knowledge and innovations," says Johan Abrahamsson (M), member of the municipal board Chairman in Mariestad.

City of Gothenburg

- Increasing the pace of climate change requires systemic changes and cooperation. In the City of Gothenburg, we have redesigned our entire approach to environmental and climate issues and are collaborating with the business community on initiatives that take a more holistic approach to, for example, fossil-free passenger and freight transport. Cities play a crucial role in the climate transition and in engaging citizens, businesses, academia and civil society. We want to act as a pioneer in this area," says Axel Josefson (M), Chairman of the City Council Chairman, City of Gothenburg.

Nacka municipality

- In the development of Central Nacka - with the concept of Naturbant as the basis - we have an arena that enables collaboration between construction actors, business and the municipality to increase the climate transition. Here we can test and realize our climate ambitions and we notice a great interest among the actors to be involved in this exciting and important journey towards a more climate-neutral city, says Mats Gerdau (M), municipal executive Chairman, Nacka municipality.

Örebro municipality

- "With our central and strategic geographical location, Örebro is one of Sweden's fastest growing cities, with both challenges and opportunities to achieve the long-term climate goals that exist at local and global level. Climate City Contract 2030 shows that Örebro wants to continue to be a pioneer in the climate transition, through increased cooperation, knowledge and innovation," says John Johansson, member of the municipal board Chairman, Örebro municipality.

Municipality of Östersund

- For Östersund, one of the major challenges in achieving a fossil-free municipality by 2030 is to work with transportation. "Viable Cities and the Climate Contract have already given us inspiration and ideas to develop our climate work," says Bosse Svensson, Member of the City Council Chairman in Östersund.

Linköping municipality

- We in Linköping municipality have a high ambition when it comes to climate change. The Climate-neutral cities 2030 initiative is an important initiative where we as a municipality commit to continue to invest and work together with our local partners for a more climate-smart Linköping," says Municipal Executive Board member Chairman Niklas Borg (M).

Enköping municipality

- Enköping is taking the lead for all of Sweden's smaller municipalities and we will show that the transition is a priority when we build and develop a growing municipality. The climate contract gives us a roadmap for our green transition. We will continue to involve our young people at Westerlundska gymnasium, continue to work on creating a sustainable district in the Myran area and develop our dialogues with residents, businesses and civil society," says Peter Book, Chairman of the Municipal Executive Board Chairman, Enköping Municipality.

Eskilstuna municipality

- It is an effective method of writing contracts. It makes you committed, puts you in a clear mission about what to do and gives you support during the struggle to reach the goals. Three in one," says Jimmy Jansson (S), member of the municipal board Chairman, Eskilstuna municipality.

Växjö municipality

- By signing the climate contract, Växjö municipality takes its responsibility for a rapid transition to climate neutrality in 2030 and stands up for it, both nationally and in Europe, says Anna Tenje, member of the municipal executive board Chairman, Växjö municipality.

Skellefteå municipality

- Building sustainable cities and communities is not something we can opt out of, not least based on the unique growth phase we are going through in Skellefteå right now. We rather see it as a matter of course for us as a municipality and place to be of interest to more business establishments and to become more inhabitants. By signing the climate agreement, we want to strengthen and develop the work that is already underway to coordinate projects and work for a sustainable community development, says Lorents Burman (S) Municipal Board Chairman, Skellefteå municipality.

City of Helsingborg

- With Climate City Contract 2030, Helsingborg secures a long-term commitment to the city's transition work towards climate neutrality. We need to work together with other cities, government agencies, business and above all the citizens of Helsingborg to meet the climate challenge in an effective way. By jointly identifying areas of responsibility and strategies for climate neutrality, the climate contract can become a platform for negotiation and initiatives at local and national level, so that we can move forward faster and achieve more," says Peter Danielsson (M), member of the municipal board Chairman of the City of Helsingborg.

Karlstad municipality

- Climate City Contract 2030 is an important tool, it creates a common force for the investments we want and need to make to achieve our climate and environmental goals in Karlstad Municipality, Per-Samuel Nisser, Municipal Executive Board Chairman, Karlstad Municipality.

- Learning from others and working together are important mechanisms in the transition to a more sustainable society. Karlstad is very proud to be part of Climate City Contract 2030 and we have high expectations for our participation, Monika Bubholz, Municipal Councillor, Municipality of Karlstad.

Uppsala municipality

- The climate transition will create many new green jobs. For these jobs to end up in Sweden and Uppsala, we must be at the forefront. That's why we will continue to take the lead in the climate transition," says Erik Pelling (S) of the Municipal Executive Board Chairman, Uppsala Municipality...

City of Malmö

- In Malmö, we have high environmental and climate ambitions, as well as a long experience of working on the issues together with the business community, civil society and the citizens of Malmö. Climate City Contract 2030 contributes to accelerating the climate transition by also linking the national level to this work, says Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh (S), member of the municipal board Chairman in Malmö.

City of Borås

- "The climate contract will be an important tool for deeper and broader political anchoring of Borås City's climate work," says Ulf Olsson, member of the municipal board Chairman, Borås City.

Transport Authority

- With little time left before 2030, we need to coordinate the actions of different actors to be as effective as possible in the climate transition. The Climate Contracts create an important arena for sharing knowledge between each other. The Swedish Transport Administration's research and innovation and administration of urban environment agreements are some examples of how we work with development that contributes to a sustainable and efficient transport system, says Lena Erixon, Director General of the Swedish Transport Administration.

Energy Authority

- Climate City Contract 2030 between the cities, us national government agencies and other actors means that Sweden has taken the lead in the work to achieve climate neutrality. The strength lies in the fact that we have now joined forces and interact at several levels of society, which leads to a faster climate transition," says Robert Andrén, Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.

Vinnova

- Cities and communities are central to achieving the necessary climate transition. When 23 Swedish cities join forces to achieve the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2030 together with Viable Cities and five government agencies , we will have an international force that inspires," says Darja Isaksson, Director General of Vinnova.

Formas

- We know that the climate transition must happen here and now. Climate City Contract 2030 has great potential to be a tool in the transition. Formas contributes to a sustainable transition for cities and regions through research and innovation, including through our national research programs for climate and sustainable spatial planning. It is necessary to coordinate what we do with several actors at both national and local level," says Ingrid Petersson, Director General of Formas.

Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

- We are proud to be involved in the work of the Climate Contracts and to promote innovation in these cities. The transition to climate neutrality is a major issue for municipalities, regions and the country as a whole. The work of these pioneering cities can benefit the whole of Sweden," says Gunilla Nordlöf, Director-General of the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth.

Climate-neutral cities 2030 2.0

Borås, Borlänge, Enköping, Eskilstuna, Gävle, Göteborg, Helsingborg, Järfälla, Kalmar, Karlstad, Kristianstad, Linköping, Lund, Malmö, Mariestad, Nacka, Skellefteå, Stockholm, Umeå, Uppsala, Växjö, Örebro and Östersund

Program 8 December 2021

13.00 Welcome Annika Wäppling Korzinek, Deputy Head of the European Commission's representation in Sweden, and Cecilia Schelin Seidegård and Anders Wijkman, chair and deputy chair, Viable Cities

13.10 The EU mission 100 climate neutral cities by 2030 - by and for citizens Matthew Baldwin, deputy general director, European Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport

13.25 Celebration of Viable Cities Champions

13.30 International perspectives on accelerating climate transition in cities Julio Lumbreras, CitiES 2030, and former member of the EU Mission Board for Climate Neutral Cities, and Thomas Osdoba, Net Zero Cities

13.45 Climate City Contract 2030 (Climate City Contract 2030) - Ceremony of signing Introduction by Olga Kordas, Programme Director Viable Cities.

The Mayors of the 23 cities:

  • Ulf Olsson, Mayor of Borås
  • Jan Bohman, Mayor of Borlänge
  • Peter Book, Mayor of Enköping
  • Jimmy Jansson, Mayor of Eskilstuna
  • Åsa Wiklund-Lång, Mayor of Gävle
  • Axel Josefson, Mayor of Göteborg
  • Peter Danielsson, Mayor of Helsingborg
  • Emma Feldman, Mayor of Järfälla
  • Johan Persson, Mayor of Kalmar
  • Per-Samuel Nisser, Mayor of Karlstad
  • Peter Johansson, Mayor of Kristianstad
  • Niklas Borg, Mayor of Linköping
  • Philip Sandberg, Mayor of Lund
  • Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö
  • Johan Abrahamsson, Mayor of Mariestad
  • Mats Gerdau, Mayor of Nacka
  • Lorents Burman, Mayor of Skellefteå
  • Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm
  • Hans Lindberg, Mayor of Umeå
  • Erik Pelling, Mayor of Uppsala
  • Anna Tenje, Mayor of Växjö
  • John Johansson, Mayor of Örebro
  • Bosse Svensson, Mayor of Östersund
  • The Director Generals:
  • Robert Andrén, the Swedish Energy Agency
  • Darja Isaksson, Vinnova
  • Ingrid Petersson, Formas
  • Gunilla Nordlöf, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth
  • Lena Erixon, the Swedish Transport Administration (TBC)

13.55 The way ahead - The Swedish cities The Mayors about their plans ahead

14.40 The way ahead - The national perspective Robert Andrén, Director General, the Swedish Energy Agency, Ingrid Petersson, Director General, Formas and Gunilla Nordlöf, Director General, the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth; Maria Johansson, Vinnova, and Susanne Skovgaard, the Swedish Transport Administration

14.55 Final words Cecilia Schelin Seidegård, Chair Viable Cities, and Christian Danielsson, Head of the European Commission's representation in Sweden