European Commission recognises Espoo’s climate work
29 may 2024 | Location: Espoo
climate neutrality EU Mission Label

In March, the European Commission awarded the prestigious EU Mission Label to the Finnish cities of Espoo, Lahti, Lappeenranta, Tampere, and Turku. This accolade recognizes their systematic efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. On May 28, the Climate-Neutral Europe is Made Together event in Espoo brought together key figures in the carbon-neutrality drive from local, national, and EU levels.

Held at the Espoo Cultural Centre, the event celebrated the remarkable climate cooperation among these cities, the European Commission, the state, companies, and other stakeholders. As frontrunners in the European Commission’s Mission for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, these cities aim to serve as exemplars for others across Europe. The Commission’s approval of the Climate City contracts for these cities, part of the select group of 33 climate pioneers in Europe, underscores their leadership in climate action.

The Climate City contracts outline the actions, cooperation, commitments, and investments that will enable these cities to reach their ambitious carbon-neutrality goals by 2030. Both local stakeholders and the Finnish government are contributing to these efforts, highlighting the collaborative approach necessary for success.

The event featured presentations of the cities’ achievements and cooperation projects on their journey towards carbon neutrality. It provided a platform for representatives from the cities, central government, and key partners to share best practices and examples of climate-proof solutions in areas such as energy, transport, construction, and European cooperation. Attendees had the opportunity to learn from each other’s success stories, participate in discussions, and network with fellow climate advocates.

The morning session showcased European collaboration projects which have supported climate work in the cities. SPARCS  was one of the projects that was presented by Jani Tartia from Espoo , Nadja Riedel from Leipzig and Sylva Lamm from Reykjavik. Mari Hukkalainen from VTT was hosting the session. 

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.