The objective: 100 climate-neutral cities by 2030. The NetZeroCities project was launched on 1 October with the aim of helping cities across Europe to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by taking appropriate climate actions. The project is scheduled to run for four years. As one of the project partners, the Frankfurt School – UNEP Collaborating Centre for Climate & Energy Finance will work on finding the finance for sustainable city projects. The goal is to help cities more effectively access public and private sources of capital interested in investing in climate protection initiatives.
Europe is committed to playing a leading role in climate protection efforts, and has established ambitious targets and guidelines for meeting this commitment. By 2030, European Member States hope to reduce their emissions by 55 percent, and to become fully climate-neutral by 2050. Cities will play a vital part in achieving this target – first, because they are centres of economic activity, knowledge creation, innovation and new technologies, and second, because they are home to a large percentage of Europe’s population. As such, they directly influence the quality of life of the many citizens who live and work in them. So it is vital that climate actions should be based on social justice and contribute to the wellbeing of Europe’s population as a whole.
“Cities could play a pioneering role in tackling climate change. In effect, we need to find solutions that will make cities sustainable and habitable over the long term without overstretching municipal budgets,” explains Tobias Panofen, Deputy Head of the FS-UNEP Collaborating Centre.
NetZeroCities will act as a services platform supported by experienced professionals. It will provide European cities with the support and solutions they need to achieve their net-zero target in a socially inclusive way. The project is part of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme backing the European Union’s Green Deal. It brings together 33 partners from 13 countries and is coordinated by EIT Climate-KIC.
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