Seven Swedish municipalities selected for the EU's mission climate-neutral cities

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Gävle, Göteborg, Helsingborg, Lund, Malmö, Stockholm and Umeå. They are the Swedish municipalities who are chosen to take part in the EU mission on climate neutral cities 2030 – the Cities Mission. 100 EU cities, plus 12 cities from associated countries, out of 377 applicants were selected.

– It is fantastic that seven of "our" cities were chosen! I am so happy. It will provide even more energy and new experiences and lessons for climate transition in all of Sweden's municipalities, says Olga Kordas, Viable Cities' programme director.

Last year, the European Commission asked all European cities who want to participate in the mission 100 climate neutral and smart cities by 2030 to express their interest. From Sweden, 13 municipalities applied, all of which are part of Viable Cities' initiative Climate Neutral Cities 2030. Seven of them were selected. The city of Malmö is one of them.

– In Malmö, we have worked for a long time with sustainable urban development 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 to succeed in a global transition. Becoming one of the designated cities in the EU makes me both proud and happy, but above all it gives us the strength to continue to drive development further, says Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh (S), chair of the municipal board in Malmö.

The cities in the EU Cities Mission will act as frontrunners so that all cities in Europe can become climate neutral in a faster pace. These frontrunners must take bold and concrete steps that dramatically break the emission curves and at the same time contribute to a more sustainable and inclusive society. A European version of climate contracts for cities, inspired by the Climate City Contract 2030 developed in Sweden, will be one of the tools. The 100 cities are evenly distributed across the European continent and also include twelve cities in so-called associated countries outside the EU.

Viable Cities' vice chair Anders Wijkman emphasizes the importance of cities for climate transition.

– Cities account for 70 percent of climate emissions and are therefore central actors in the climate work. It is great that a number of cities in Sweden have been selected, it will be exciting for them to work together and 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 land. No one has done this before, says Anders Wijkman.

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

– Climate transition requires interaction between all levels of society. Through the EU's Cities Mission we are reaching a new level. The pace of the transition to a modern fossil-free welfare society is accelerating, in Europe and in Sweden. The Cities Mission will strengthen the work with the Swedish Climate City Contract 2030 – co-created by the Swedish Energy Agency and four other government agencies, Viable Cities and 23 Swedish municipalities, says Robert Andrén, Director General of the Swedish Energy Agency.

The Swedish innovation agency Vinnova’s mission is to contribute to building innovation capacity for sustainable growth. 

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

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


Anna-Lena Ekenryd
Communications strategist

+46 73 3468 436


Viable Cities is a Swedish innovation programme for climate neutral and sustainable cities. The programme collaborates with 23 Swedish cities and five government agencies to accelerate the climate transition in the initiative Climate Neutral Cities 2030 – and with the unique tool Climate City Contract 2030. Running from 2017 to 2030, the programme gathers over 100 member organisations from industry, academia, public and civil society organisations. It is one of 17 Swedish strategic innovation programs jointly funded by Vinnova, the Swedish Energy Agency and Formas with a total investment of 100 million EUR. Viable Cities is coordinated by KTH, The Royal Institute of Technology.