Published on 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin congratulates Cork and Dublin on selection by European Commission for Climate-Neutral Smart Cities Mission

Taoiseach Micheál Martin congratulates Cork and Dublin on selection by European Commission for Climate-Neutral Smart Cities Mission

I am pleased to confirm two of our Irish Cities, Cork and Dublin, have been selected by the European Commission as representatives in their highly-competitive Climate-Neutral Smart Cities Mission.


Achieving climate neutrality through accelerated and rapid greenhouse gas emissions reduction is a fundamental goal of the European Green Deal and a key commitment of this Government. Our urban areas play a critical role in this endeavour, with opportunities to transform our cities into healthier, safer and cleaner spaces and even more enjoyable places to live.


Through this Mission, Cork and Dublin will be supported in accelerating their green and digital transformations and will become part of a network of 100 cities across Europe working to achieve this aim. The chosen cities are poised to act as experimentation and innovation hubs, implementing cutting-edge and creative solutions across energy, transport, waste, infrastructure and building categories to reduce their environmental footprints and contributions to climate change. They will act as sites of learning and inspiration for other cities and towns to follow in the decades to come.


I am also aware that a number of our other cities and towns applied to take part in this transformative Mission. I commend their commitment, foresight and ambition in applying and am encouraged by how strongly Ireland was represented in the competition. This is only the beginning of the climate-neutral journey for all cities in this call, with the Commission keen to also support those who were not selected with twinning activities, open access resources, support networks and other funding opportunities.


The Government is keen to ensure that Cork and Dublin are assisted in making best use of this opportunity and the support of relevant Government Departments, agencies and bodies will be forthcoming.


For now, I hope you join me in congratulating Cork and Dublin in their commendable success in the Commission’s Climate-Neutral Smart Cities Mission. I look forward to engaging with them as they pursue their accelerated climate and digital actions and anticipate the important lessons that they will unveil for other towns and cities across Ireland and Europe to follow.




What are EU Missions?


EU Missions are a new way to bring concrete solutions to some of our greatest challenges. They have ambitious goals and will deliver tangible results by 2030. 


They will deliver impact by putting research and innovation into a new role, combined with new forms of governance and collaboration, as well as by engaging citizens. 


EU Missions are a novelty of the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme for the years 2021-2027. 


What this EU Mission deals with


The importance of climate-neutral and smart cities


Cities play a pivotal role in achieving climate neutrality by 2050, the goal of the European Green Deal. They take up only 4% of the EU’s land area, but they are home to 75% of EU citizens. Furthermore, cities consume over 65% of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions. 


Since climate mitigation is heavily dependent on urban action, we need to support cities in accelerating their green and digital transformation. In particular, European cities can substantially contribute to the Green Deal target of reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 and, in more practical terms, to offer cleaner air, safer transport and less congestion and noise to their citizens. 


Aims of the Mission


The Cities Mission will involve local authorities, citizens, businesses, investors as well as regional and national authorities to


  1. Deliver 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030 
  2. Ensure that these cities act as experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050 


As foreseen in its implementation plan, the Cities Mission takes a cross-sectoral and demand-led approach, creating synergies between existing initiatives and basing its activities on the actual needs of cities. 


Funding opportunities


Two new calls will contribute to the implementation of the Climate-neutral and Smart Cities Mission by providing support to cities to achieve climate neutrality.


Actions under these calls will cover a wide range of subjects such as urban planning and design for climate-neutral cities, sustainable urban mobility, positive and clean energy districts.


The first call will be open 11 January 2022 – 26 April 2022, with an overall indicative budget of EUR 117 million.


The second call will be open 28 April 2022 – 6 September 2022, with an indicative budget of EUR 42 million.



GIS Press Office

Government Information Service