On September 5, NetZeroCities called for participation in its Pilot Communities Programme, a ground-breaking initiative that examines novel strategies for achieving carbon neutrality objectives in European cities. The Pilot Communities Programme is offering subsidies totalling €32 million and practical assistance to cities as part of the EU Mission for 100 climate-neutral and smart cities (the “EU Cities Mission”).

The Call was originally scheduled to end on November 4th. However, the decision has been made to extend the deadline to November 15 at 12:00 p.m. CET due to the overwhelming demand from cities and the difficulty of submitting an application. Cities will be able to effectively complete their applications and submit them via the online submission tool as a result.

Pilot Cities Program

The Pilot Cities Programme will help cities test out locally-tailored steps toward a transition to a low-carbon economy. Horizon 2020, the European Commission’s 2014-2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, will pay for grants for a few cities (R&I). Cities will get support in the amounts of € 0.5 million, € 1 million, or € 1.5 million to implement and scale up R&I and systemic solutions. Cities in EU Member States and Associated Countries that agree with the goals of the EU Cities Mission and want to apply can do so through the Call.

The selected Pilot Cities will also get help from the NetZeroCities Consortium and its dedicated online Platform, which will offer advice and support services. This will help the selected Pilot Cities take an all-systems approach to climate neutrality. Piloting in cities will include a wide range of things, such as social, cultural, technological, nature-based, regulatory, financial, and business innovations, as well as new ways of doing business and running the government.

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