NetZeroCities – Supporting European cities in their transition to net-zero emissions by 2030



NetZeroCities is a four-year program funded by the Horizon 2020 Framework Program, supporting the European Green Deal in building a low-carbon, climate resilient future through research and innovation. Over the coming years, Resilient Cities Network, together with 33 partners from 13 countries will support cities in Europe in their efforts to achieve net zero emissions and a climate neutral future in an inclusive and socially sustainable manner. NetZeroCities contributes to the European Union’s Mission of “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030”.

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Cities play an integral role in achieving climate neutrality targets. While they take up just 4% of land area in EU, they will house up to 85% of its residents by 2050. On a global level, cities alone account for 65% of energy consumption and more than 70% of CO2 emissions.

The European Commission’s Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities Mission operates in this context and is aimed at achieving the targets of the European Climate Law and European Green Deal, i.e. reducing EU’s emissions by 55% by 2030 to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Naturally, cities play a crucial role, as the ground zero for action to achieve this goal. While a number of cities in Europe have expressed interest and made commitments to reduce their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, only a handful of them have adopted a target for climate neutrality by 2030. Through the mission, this gap is sought to be addressed, mobilizing local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to deliver at least “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” and ensure that cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050.

Program Objective

Inaugurated on 1st October 2021, NetZeroCities  will support European Cities to drastically cut down GHG emissions through climate action to achieve ‘climate neutrality’.

Coordinated by EIT Climate-KIC, 33 partners from 13 countries will tailor advanced capabilities related to systemic change, citizen engagement and democratic governance, capital and financial structuring, and social innovation, to ensure cities have access to the best expertise available anywhere in the world.

The program will support the EU’s Mission of “100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030”, by seeking to scale the activities of this project across 100 cities, and to tackle the unprecedented capital investments needed to make such a transformation possible.

Program Approach

Over the next four years, NetZeroCities will identify cities’ needs and help them overcome the current structural, institutional and cultural barriers they face in their path to becoming climate neutral by 2030. The approach aims to guide cities and citizens towards an inclusive, thriving, climate resilient and sustainable future. This will be done by

  • Developing a service-oriented platform supported by world-class practitioners.
  • Co-creating of solutions needed to achieve net-zero in a socially-inclusive way.
  • Building tailored capacity on systemic change, citizen engagement and democratic governance, capital and financial structuring, and social innovation.
  • Developing and promoting of new and existing tools, resources, and expertise into a one-stop shop platform that will be accessible to all cities through an online portal.
  • Supporting up to 30 pilot cities to help drive rapid learning about how to achieve climate neutrality at the city scale.

NetZeroCities builds upon the expertise of its partners, leveraging a vast array of knowledge and expertise, as well as access to a very large network of cities throughout Europe.

Read the full press release


The NetZeroCities consortium gathers 33 partners from 13 countries. The partners include:

Associations & Networks: Climate Alliance, The Democratic Society, EIT Climate-KIC, EIT Urban Mobility, Energy Cities, ERRIN – European Regions Research and Innovation Network, Eurocities, ICLEI, Open & Agile Smart Cities, REGEA, Resilient Cities Network, Union Internationale des Transports Publics, Viable Cities.

Research organizations: Cartif, Cerema, Demos Research Institute, Fraunhofer Institute, Tecnalia, TNO, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Universities: Austrian Institute of Technology, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, Politecnico di Milano, TalTech – Tallin University of Technology, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.

Think-tanks: Institute for European Environmental Policy.

Companies and consultancies: Bankers Without Boundaries, Dark Matter Labs, LGI, Material Economics, Metabolic Institute, Rupprecht Consult, South Pole Carbon Asset Management.


Project partners from 13 countries


Pilot Cities to receive support


One-Stop Platform with tailor-made strategies

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