Celebrating Espoo’s Achievement: EU Mission Label for Climate Work
25 march 2024 | Location: Espoo
climate neutrality

SPARCS Lighthouse City Espoo, Finland has received prestigious recognition from the European Commission for its outstanding efforts in climate action. On March 21, 2024, Espoo was awarded the EU Mission Label as part of the EU Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, under Horizon Europe. This accolade highlights Espoo’s commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 and underlines the city’s pivotal role as a leader in the green transition.

The EU Mission Label is a testament to Espoo’s collaborative approach to climate work, emphasising partnerships with stakeholders and the broader community. In a ceremony held in Brussels, Espoo joined 22 other cities across Europe in receiving this esteemed recognition. Markku Markkula, Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions and a key figure in Espoo’s sustainability efforts, expressed pride in the city’s role as a forerunner, driving sustainable growth through green and digital transition initiatives.

“The EU Mission Label is an acknowledgement of Espoo’s role as a forerunner city. Together with companies and everyone in Espoo, we create new climate work innovations and good practices to help all cities,” he said.

Climate City Contract

At the heart of Espoo’s climate strategy lies the Climate City Contract, a comprehensive framework outlining the city’s path towards carbon neutrality. Signed by Espoo and its 25 partners, this contract embodies a collective commitment to sustainable development and outlines specific measures to achieve ambitious climate goals. The EU Mission Label serves as validation of Espoo’s dedication to climate action and reinforces its position as an innovation hub for green solutions.

Key initiatives driving Espoo’s sustainability agenda include rapid electrification of heat production and transport, exemplified by groundbreaking projects like the waste heat recovery from data centres led by Microsoft and Fortum. These endeavours not only reduce emissions but also stimulate economic growth, job creation, and vitality within the community. Moreover, Espoo’s participation in the EU Cities Mission underscores its commitment to sharing knowledge and fostering collaboration to accelerate climate action across Europe.

A significant milestone

The EU Mission Label represents a significant milestone in Espoo’s journey towards carbon neutrality, facilitating access to public and private funding to support ambitious climate initiatives. Looking ahead, the European Commission’s continued support, including financial advisory services and the establishment of the “Cities Mission Capital Hub,” will further empower Espoo and other awarded cities to translate their climate strategies into tangible projects with lasting impact.

Espoo’s achievement reinforces the critical role of cities in combating climate change and underscores the importance of collective action in driving sustainable urban development. As Espoo continues to lead by example, it sets a precedent for other cities, inspiring them to embrace innovation, collaboration, and bold climate action.

For more information on the EU Mission Label awards see the European Commission’s press release.