The way to a European climate union

The wide field of climate protection is one of the political priorities of the European Union. The aim is to limit the negative impacts of climate change and stop emitting more emissions than can be offset by 2050 - and thus to become a climate-neutral continent.
Climate-neutral & smart citiex

In its climate targets by 2030, the European Union has committed itself to reducing CO2 emissions by at least 55 percent compared to 1990.

The European Green Deal (EGD) is a crucial project of the European Commission and projects a sustainable growth strategy for a climate-neutral and resource-saving economy.

With the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015, Austria also committed to reducing global warming to well below two degrees and, if possible, to 1.5 degrees.

The EU Cities Mission

The challenges and opportunities related to climate change are a central field of activity of the European research framework program Horizon Europe. Two of the five research missions deal directly with achieving the climate goals within the program. The mission "100 Climate-neutral Cities by 2030 - by and for the Citizens" – "EU Cities Mission" for short – supports 100 European cities to become climate-neutral by 2030. In the years to come, these 100 European model cities will serve as role models for all other cities in Europe as global pioneers of climate neutrality. Successful measures and learning effects will be replicated and promoted across Europe in the future while working on removing (financial, regulatory or legal) barriers and hurdles.

Further information: FAQs EU Cities Mission for Austrian cities (in German only)

The start of the first cities

The application period for cities to express their interest in becoming one of the 100 European climate-neutral cities in the "EU Cities Mission" closed at the end of January 2022. The cities' expression of interest had to entail an outline of the cities' ambition, their potential path to climate neutrality (by 2030) and an explanation of their thematic priorities and required alliances to accomplish climate neutrality. Overall, 377 cities responded to this call - including three cities from Austria: Klagenfurt, Linz and Graz. The European Commission will select the first 25 cities by April 2022, which will then be intensively accompanied, advised and connected by the mission platform "NetZeroCities".

Support from the BMK

Since 2019, the BMK has directly supported cities on their way to climate neutrality
(1) through the R&D service "FIT4UrbanMission", in which cities developed concepts and strategies for reaching climate neutrality and implementation plans for climate-neutral urban neighbourhoods.
(2) through a "reality lab preparation phase", in which cities designed the concept for an (urban) innovation laboratory.

In 2022, a new BMK priority topic, "The Climate Neutral City" was established. Starting in 2023, the BMK will support urban (governance) transformation processes and the implementation of concepts and strategies through capacity building. In addition, a demand-oriented monitoring and consultation process will accompany participating cities, which builds upon the FIT4UrbanMission accompanying process. The long-term goal of the priority topic is to establish a strong partnership and solidarity between Austrian cities and the BMK. The newly created funding portfolio will address both strategic and implementation-oriented issues related to urban infrastructure and innovative planning processes.