Madrid, Valencia, Zaragoza take lead on climate change

Parque Buen Retiro, Madrid.

Five cities in Spain have been recognised for their efforts on climate change and sustainability.

Along with cities in Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria and Romania, the award has been given to Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza, respectively. In full, ten European cities were honoured.

Ten European cities have been awarded for their plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

The award known as the EU Mission Label for Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities is presented for effective plans to achieve climate neutrality by 2030.

The latest recipients were announced on Thursday October 12 with the incentive to encourage similar work and to support cities with funding for their climate aims.

European cities awarded for climate change targets

As reported by Euronews, the full list announced to receive the EU label by the European Commission was:

Sønderborg (Denmark), Mannheim (Germany), Madrid, Valencia, Valladolid, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza (Spain), Klagenfurt (Austria), Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Stockholm (Sweden).

In terms of detail, this is recognition for vital forward planning, for drawing up action plans known as ‘climate city contracts’ to achieve climate neutrality – 20 years earlier than the EU plan for Europe – by 2030.

It is also approval from the EU and provides an open door to its institutions to help get access to access to EU, national, and regional funding and financing sources, including private investment.

Spain leading the way on climate goals

The ten cities to be lauded are “paving the way for others to move faster towards a fair green and digital transition,” the European Commission wrote in a statement, “and they set an example for inclusive co-creation of policy at the local level.”

With half of the winners of the EU Mission Label awards being Spanish, this feat was recognised by Maros Sefcovic, the Vice-President of the European Commission.

He detailed the achievements and benefits that could come from the label:

“This is the expression of the climate policies of Spain and the focus it puts on renewable sources.”

“I see this as proof of high-quality management, strong policies at city level, on decarbonisation and embracing climate-neutral technology.”

“The award will help unlock additional investments coming to these cities because investors know that the plans are good, realistic and have been certified by the best experts in the European Commission. Investors will have very good returns that lead to concrete results,” stated Sefcovic.

There is also the opportunity for other Spanish cities and municipalities to follow the lead of the five listed above if the policies prove to be successful and viable.

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Written by

Graeme Hanna

Graeme is a freelance writer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland who has been writing full-time for the last three years. He specialises in football and Rangers FC in particular, as well as being on top of news and trending matters. His work has been published in titles such as Rangers Review, Give Me Sport, Manchester Evening News, MyLondon and the Belfast News Letter.


    • Renato Besomi

      17 October 2023 • 18:40

      I am wondering how they achieved that, with all the millions of Tourists and the never-ending Traffic. Not to mention all the fires from the Farmers when they burn everything. Just look at the Orba Valley or better when you can not see the Orba Valley anymore because of all the smoke. How long did Ramblars burn in Javea in 2022? Someone is having a laugh!!!!

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