Swedish cities sign climate city contract

16 December 2020

Responding to the climate crisis effectively means adapting our political, economic and social systems in a way never seen before. National, regional, and local governance must work hand in hand, while encouraging cooperation with and between citizens and companies. That’s why the commitment of 9 Swedish cities, including 4 Eurocities members (Gothenburg, Malmo, Stockholm, Uppsala) is a significant milestone for the climate transition.

Following the EU’s revision of its greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets for 2030, and ahead of today’s climate pact announcement, as part of the European Green Deal, the Swedish cities have signed Europe’s first climate city contract. By doing so, they commit to invest in climate and sustainability measures, and aim to become climate neutral by 2030.

“Through the climate agreement, we commit to, among other things, developing digital support for the climate change transition. The contract will be an important part of the implementation of Stockholm’s new climate action plan,” said Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm, who signed on behalf of her city.

In addition, the national government commits to support and facilitate the cities’ efforts, alongside civil society, academia, companies and others, to drive the process forward.

The Swedish cities hope to be an example for the rest of Europe, which is a point that Anna Lisa Boni, Secretary General of Eurocities picked up on in her opening address at the signing ceremony last week. Boni also noted that the Swedish cities’ goal of climate neutrality by 2030 could inspire EU level policy, such as the
Climate Neutral and Smart Cities Mission.

Specifically, the cities commit to:

  • Reduce climate emissions;
  • Increase innovation capacity;
  • Involve citizens in the transition.

And the national level agrees to:

  • Make it easier for the local level to take the lead in the climate transition;
  • Create a national platform that makes it easier for local governments to finance their climate initiatives and invest in the climate transition;
  • Support the local level funding applications in the context of the call for climate neutral cities by 2030.

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Alex Godson Eurocities Writer