Europe Is Scaling Up It’s Efforts to Reach Net Zero

The Urban Transitions Mission (UTM) recently announced the first 48 cities that will receive support in testing, piloting, and scaling up solutions and adopting system-wide approaches to reach net-zero. UTM is a joint effort by the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), the European Commission, and Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe.

Starting next year, the Urban Transitions Mission will engage with cities to: 

  • revise existing climate and energy action plans, prioritizing actions according to scientific data and evidence, and bridge implementation gaps in reaching net-zero;
  • broker access to solutions, focusing on accelerating implementation of technological, regulatory, and financial solutions;
  • identify and remove red tape to test and upscale innovation by working with partners in the Mission’s Global Innovation Alliance to provide support for cities to pilot and scale innovative solutions; and
  • accelerate access to dedicated R&I funding and capacity building to develop sound investment plans to existing project pipelines.

All 48 UTM cities have conducted GHG inventories and Risk and Vulnerability assessments, 19 have set targets more ambitious than their countries Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), and 27 have committed to net-zero and developed climate action plans to meet these targets. All the cities will prioritize projects focused on energy infrastructure, efficiency and low-emissions built environments. 13 cities have plans to explore renewable energy source (RES) potential, and four cities will pursue clean hydrogen and zero-emission solutions for shipping and industry. Additionally, 23 cities will seek solutions in urban regeneration, sustainable use of land, urban poverty, and circularity as priority pathways.

“Whether in Europe, Africa or elsewhere, cities around the world already feel the impact of the climate and biodiversity crises,” said Frans Timmermans, European Commission executive vice-president for the European Green Deal, and co-chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors Climate & Energy. “The Urban Transitions Mission supports local administrations to take action and help accelerate efforts towards a green, clean, and healthy future for all their citizens.”