Press release

Cities pledge to beat EU targets on climate emissions

10 December 2019

Cities are showing leadership on climate and demanding European level action on the eve of the publication of the Communication on the European Green Deal tomorrow.

At an event today, hosted by Pascal Canfin MEP in the European Parliament, 27 cities shared pledges to match or beat EU climate targets.

“Let’s make the Green Deal a game changer,” commented Pascal Canfin, MEP.

The cities committed to voluntary emissions targets for 2030 or 2050, which were handed over to the European Parliament (represented by Jan Olbrycht MEP), and European Commission during the event. Clara de la Torre, Deputy Director General of DG CLIMA, who represented the Commission, said:

“The EU is partnering with cities and regions for a fair transition to a climate neutral economy.”

The event coincided with the launch of a new EUROCITIES report sharing concrete examples from cities, such as:

  • Stockholm, which has reduced annual emissions from the building sector by almost 1.3 million tonnes CO2e since 1990 by optimising the energy performance of new and old buildings
  • Ghent, which has helped 106 medium and high energy using companies save 6,280 tonnes of CO2 a year since 2014, thanks to its strategy of coaching businesses
  • Barcelona, which worked with citizens to create a climate plan that includes reducing GHG emissions, creating more green spaces and reducing potable water consumption
  • Prague, which has focussed on encouraging the use of public transport to connect rail, buses, metro and car travel by developing a major new transport terminal

Katarina Luhr, Deputy Mayor of Stockholm, who was also present to represent the cities network, EUROCITIES, said:

“Climate change is not just a challenge, but also an enormous opportunity. High time Europe steps up and delivers a Green Deal that brings real change.”

Cities are essential to ensuring the goals of the Paris agreement are fully achieved and are committed to its implementation. Already 64% of EUROCITIES member cities have committed to reaching climate neutrality by 2050.



Notes to Editors 

  1. EUROCITIES is the political platform for major European cities. We network the local governments of over 140 of Europe’s largest cities and more than 40 partner cities that between them govern some 130 million citizens across 39 countries.
  2. The cities pledges came from: Amsterdam, Arezzo, Barcelona, Braga, Budapest, Chemnitz, Dortmund, Glasgow, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Helsinki, Leeds, London, Lyon City, Lyon Métropole, Malmo, Manchester, Mannheim, Nantes Métropole, Oslo, Porto, Prague, Reims, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Tampere, Tirana, Turku
  3. Panellists at the European Parliament event included: Pascal Canfin (Chair of ENVI Committee, European Parliament), Clara de la Torre (Deputy Director General, DG CLIMA, European Commission), Katarina Luhr (Deputy Mayor for Environment and Climate, Stockholm), Filipe Araujo (Deputy Mayor for Innovation and Environment, Porto), Alessandro Ghinelli (Mayor of Arezzo), Marieke van Doorninck (Deputy Mayor Spatial Development and Sustainability, Amsterdam), David Dorosz (Deputy Mayor for Climate, Budapest) and David McDonald (Deputy Leader of the Council, Glasgow)
  4. Read the report ‘Cities leading the way on climate action’ here: EUROCITIES_cities_climate_action_2019


Media contact:  

Alex Godson: +32 495 298 594 //


Alex Godson Eurocities Writer