Mission Innovation Urban Transitions Mission Brings Together First Cohort of Cities to Spur Global Green Transition

Today at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum, the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) together with the European Commission (DG RTD) and the Joint Programming Initiative Urban Europe (JPI UE) called upon Mission Innovation member countries to recognize the importance of multi-level collaboration and help spearhead the selection of 50 cities for the Urban Transitions Mission (UTM). 

The Urban Transitions Mission was launched at COP26 under the framework of Mission Innovation (MI) as a joint effort by GCoM, the European Commission (DG RTD), and JPI Urban Europe. By 2030, the Urban Transitions Missions aims to mobilize 300 cities worldwide to advance their climate action planning, increase their ambition and implement systemic and innovative approaches to a net-zero, resilient, and people-centered urban transition. The Urban Transitions Mission will offer cities an urban transition net-zero framework that will build on the knowledge and expertise of a Global Innovation Alliance of supporting partners and organisations and the first-hand experience of the cities engaged. 

This framework will help cities to strengthen their existing climate and energy action plans, across all steps of their city climate action journey, as well as aiding prioritization, gap identification, and assessment of co-benefits of climate, to help them adopt system wide approaches to reach net-zero. 

The first cohort as part of the Mission will be composed of 50 cities, which will act as solutions providers and innovation hubs, and will start to apply and test the urban transition net-zero framework to enhance their climate action plans. This framework will then be further refined through a wider second cohort of 250 cities, which will be selected in 2024. Cities can apply here!

The Mission will distill the lessons learned from both cohorts, into the urban net-zero framework, then offer it to cities across the globe as a key instrument to accelerate the net-zero urban transition in a systemic way. By 2030, the UTM aims to disseminate the framework to the 12,500+ GCoM Signatories to accelerate the net-zero urban transition globally.

New Urban Research, Development and Implementation Funding – MI Call22

In support of the Urban Transitions Mission, the latest round of the multilateral research development and implementation fundraising process, MICall 22, supported by 27 countries, is expected to allocate more than € 60 million in support funding for the urban energy transition. It is being launched by the Driving Urban Transitions Partnership, a new programme hosted by JPI Urban Europe, to support transnational research and innovation projects addressing urban challenges to help cities in their transition towards a climate-neutral and sustainable future. 

Research organisations, companies, municipalities, and other stakeholders located in one of the 27 participating countries, and fulfilling a set of eligibility criteria, are invited to engage in transnational consortia and submit their first stage applications before 21 November 2022. Detailed national eligibility criteria and conditions are available here.

Global Knowledge Exchange Centre on Urban Energy Transitions

The Urban Transitions Mission will also draw on a global knowledge exchange centre on emissions reduction pathways for urban environments, funded through a € 2 million call under the Horizon Europe programme.

Building on expertise from a  global group of partners supporting the Mission, the Global Innovation Alliance, the experiences of the Mission co-lead and partners and anchored in the European Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities, the centre will link European and international climate initiatives and stakeholders to ensure two-way learning and exchanges in support of the Urban Transition Mission activities and their implementation.

The centre aims to facilitate the mainstreaming and scaling-up of knowledge on urban climate action, steering international outreach for both the EU Cities Mission and the MI Urban Transitions Mission. It will enable cities to build their capacity in a networking environment with access to knowledge and tools on urban systems integration, technology developments, successful policies, investment, and funding opportunities.

For more information, please email: info@globalcovenantofmayors.org 

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