Nordic Mayors agree that cities can lead the way to a carbon neutral future

City and country pledges to become carbon neutral or fossil free have become powerful messages in the quest for a low-carbon future. This topic was at the heart of discussions at the Nordic Mayors’ event.

[xyz-ihs snippet=”RoadToParis”]

The event in Paris was organised by the Nordic Mayor’s Initiative, as part of a series of events with Nordic Mayors at the COP21 climate summit.

Daggur Eggertsson, Mayor of Reykjavik said that geothermal energy and hydropower will enable his city to become fossil free. Bo Frank, Mayor of Växjö (Sweden), the first city pledging to become carbon neutral, explained how they cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 per cent in the last 20 years thanks to, among others, district heating based on wood and energy efficient buildings.

Mehmet Kaplan, Swedish Minister for Housing, Urban Development and Information Technology, emphasised the role of cities in enabling his country to meet its fossil free pledge.

Renat Heuberger, CEO, South Pole Group, made clear that technically, any city can go carbon neutral as the technology for decarbonising transport, buildings, waste, energy is already available. In his view, the current roadblocks in furthering the carbon neutral agenda often boiled down to lack of political will and/or finance.

Carbon-neutrality strategy 

He nonetheless welcomed the pledges by many cities to become carbon neutral within their boundaries, but emphasised that a comprehensive carbon-neutrality strategy should also take into consideration the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that occur beyond city boundaries (but that are still linked to cities).

For instance, a great deal of cities often need to import food and electronic equipment from far away – thus creating greenhouse gas emissions in the supply chain of the city. Professor David Simon, Director of Mistra Urban Futures reminded that cites in the North and South must continue exchanging lessons, and that cities in Europe should also look to learn from innovative approaches in developing countries.

All panelists agreed that more needed to be done with regards to sharing lessons learnt and in supporting cities in the South. The two relevant Climate-KIC initiatives currently supporting these goals include Cityactions.org, a platform for cities to share information, and the Low Carbon City Lab, driving innovation on financing low-carbon cities, particularly in developing countries.

Under the Low Carbon City Lab, South Pole Group and Climate-KIC will work together with the Nordic Mayors Initiative to further assist Nordic cities in becoming carbon neutral and to transfer this knowledge to cities in developing countries.

 
Location
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the...

Speaking online at the inaugural Conference of IS4CE—the International...

Anders Wijkman represents EIT Climate-KIC at the International Society for the Circular Economy Conference
In The News
Vienna’s journey to carbon neutrality

EIT Climate-KIC is working with the city of Vienna...

Vienna’s journey to carbon neutrality
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate...

Eleven climate innovation projects across Europe tackling COVID-19 related...

EIT Climate-KIC receives €8.4 million for innovation projects that stimulate job creation and support a post COVID-19 green recovery
In The News
CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum

On 25 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the Climate Policy...

CEO Kirsten Dunlop represents EIT Climate-KIC at Climate Policy Forum
In Detail
A net zero future offers significant opportunities for the European economy,...

EIT Climate-KIC’s views on the EU 2030 Climate Target Plan.  The recent announcements from the European Commission on the EU Recovery Plan from the...

A net zero future offers significant opportunities for the European economy, society and citizens
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability a...

The LOOP-Ports project, led by the Fundación Valenciaport  and funded by EIT Climate-KIC,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported LOOP-Ports project wins prestigious sustainability award
In The News
EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward

On 24 June, EIT Climate-KIC attended the 7th Green...

EIT Climate KIC joins roundtable as Republic of Korea moves Green Deal forward
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Manufacturing expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Manufacturing expert insights
Opinion
A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Cliona Howie Del Rio about systems thinking
A scientist’s opinion: Interview with Cliona Howie Del Rio about systems thinking
In Detail
Citizen activation is essential for Europe to meet its climate ambition

EIT Climate-KIC provides ideas for action under the European Climate Pact. The debate on how to achieve ambitious climate targets is often dominated by...

Citizen activation is essential for Europe to meet its climate ambition
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC shines at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference, the year’s la...

EIT Climate-KIC’s Director of Sustainable Land Use and member...

EIT Climate-KIC shines at the GLF Bonn Digital Conference, the year’s largest global digital conference on the environment
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Accelerator Cities commits to boosting the rate of U...

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has entered a...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Accelerator Cities commits to boosting the rate of UK home retrofits
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks raises over €67 million to expand its c...

Climeworks, the world leader in capturing CO2 from air,...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Climeworks raises over €67 million to expand its carbon dioxide removal capacities
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros raises €7 million for the development of h...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros Hyperloop has completed a financing...

EIT Climate-KIC supported Zeleros raises €7 million for the development of hyperloop in Europe
In our community
A just transformation for Rugeley, as the power station comes down
A just transformation for Rugeley, as the power station comes down
In Detail
Challenging paradigms as the gateway to innovation: New IIPP report for EIT ...

EIT Climate-KIC partner the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (IIPP), which works on changing how public value is imagined, practiced and evaluated...

Challenging paradigms as the gateway to innovation: New IIPP report for EIT Climate-KIC’s Landscapes as Carbon Sinks Deep Demonstration
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Raw materials expert insights
In Detail
Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach

The challenge-led system mapping approach responds to the need to improve the practitioner’s capacity to move towards system change by providing mechanisms by which...

Challenge-led system mapping: A knowledge management approach
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to provide “systems transformation as...

EIT Climate-KIC is restructuring to deliver systems transformation for climate change
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Food expert insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’

EIT Climate-KIC, together with Edgeryders, ETH Zurich and IOTA,...

EIT Climate-KIC and partners reassess our values in the ‘new normal’
In our community
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Climate expert insights
Water scarcity in Southern Europe: Climate expert insights
Opinion
Who’s doing what: A news round-up of selected COVID-19 responses and recovery plans
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
Who’s doing what: A news round-up of selected COVID-19 responses and recovery plans
In The News
Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots

Yesterday, EIT Climate-KIC community member ‘Co-Action,’ a carbon capture...

Co-Action carbon capture project opens new field plots
In Detail
Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for global sustainable finance: An int...

The UN Environment convened Financial Centres for Sustainability (FC4S) recently published a working paper, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, on the implications of the COVID-19...

Implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for global sustainable finance: An internal framework for response strategies
In Detail
A cartoonathon: Using humour to drive insights

Last week, in an event supported by EIT Climate-KIC, over 150 participants from more than 60 countries took part in a virtual ‘cartoonathon’ to...

A cartoonathon: Using humour to drive insights
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches Call for Proposals to support post-COVID-19 green rec...

EIT Climate-KIC’s ‘Extraordinary Post COVID-19 Regeneration Call 2020’ will...

EIT Climate-KIC launches Call for Proposals to support post-COVID-19 green recovery
Opinion
COVID-19 responses and recovery plans—the good news and the bad news
Felicity Spors Head of International Affairs, EIT Climate-KIC
COVID-19 responses and recovery plans—the good news and the bad news
Innovation Spotlight
How to engage citizens in a just transformation process

With climate change, we are facing one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime – one that...

How to engage citizens in a just transformation process
In The News
The European Union has the tools to boost a sustainable recovery from the COVI...

In a statement released today, the Technical Expert Group...

The European Union has the tools to boost a sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, say TEG experts