Tartu selected as one of the towns in Europe seeking to become climate neutral

The Estonian town of Tartu was selected by the European Commission as one of the 100 towns in Europe seeking to become climate neutral.

The town was selected for the European Commission’s mission, 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030. The next step will be to prepare a climate-neutral cities pact and work with the selected cities will start in May this year, the Tartu municipality said in a statement.

“Being selected as one of the first 100 towns to pursue climate neutrality is great recognition of Tartu’s work and achievements so far. More importantly, the mission offers great potential for Tartu and Estonia, for the research institutions and companies located here. This is a great opportunity to take ambitious projects forward with European Structural Funds and partners, to work together towards achieving an even better quality of life,” the mayor of Tartu, Urmas Klaas, said.

A total of 377 cities and towns applied to join the mission, of which 100 were selected from the European Union by the European Commission, with an additional 12 being from other European countries. Work with the participating cities and towns will begin with an opening seminar, in May, followed by a conference in Brussels, in June.

A scenery in Tartu. Photo by Kerly Ilves.

Accelerating achieving climate neutrality

Participation in the mission will help accelerate the achievement of climate neutrality, increase the use of EU research, development and structural funds; develop local smart entrepreneurship; strengthen cooperation between the city, research institutions and businesses; and raise the international profile and reputation of Tartu. The selected cities and towns are innovation hubs that serve to inspire other European cities to follow their example by 2050, according to the Tartu municipality.

The 100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030 mission is one of five EU objectives. The other ones deal with climate adaptation, soil and land, seas and oceans, and cancer treatment. The climate-neutral cities’ mission will support innovative solutions in different sectors – energy, transport, and waste management – and ensure a high quality and accessible living environment for all.

Among the 100 cities and towns selected, Latvia has two – Liepāja and Riga – and so does Lithuania – Taurage and Vilnius. Finland’s got six cities and towns in the mission, including the capital, Helsinki. Sweden has seven cities and towns in the mission and Poland has five. You can check out the other selected cities from the European Commission factsheet.

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