Lappeenranta is named in the European Union’s pioneer group of 100 cities

The European Commission has recognized the central role of cities in combating climate change and also involving citizens in it. The European Union sought for pioneer cities in its new Mission program to aim for climate contracts of the European Union and the cities.

Now, the European Commission has announced the cities that fill the criteria set for the selection of a group of 100 cities. Lappeenranta has received the honor and demanding task to be one of the selected European cities. The European Commission selected altogether six cities from Finland to be part of the leading cities in the Mission. In addition to Lappeenranta, Espoo, Helsinki, Lahti, Tampere and Turku were selected from Finland. The press release and a list of the other selected cities can be seen here.

Mission cities are innovaters to others

The criteria set by the European Union for the Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities were

– The cities’ state of will, ambition and preparing for climate change,

– Commitment to invite citizens, businesses and other stakeholders in the work,

– The cities must be geographically located in different parts of Europe.

The objective of the Cities Mission together with the European Union and the cities is a group of 100 smart cities which operates as a European innovation and investment center of combating climate change by 2030. The selected cities show example to other cities and promote their journey to become carbon-neutral by 2050.

Lappeenranta’s strentgh is collaborating with businesses and the university

The Mission provides demonstration and experimentation possibilities, networking and funding possibilities from the European Union.

For Lappeenranta, especially the investment experimentations and development together with the university and businesses are interesting. The recognition also increases the interest of businesses and investors to operate in the areas of the selected European cities. The City of Lappeenranta wants to develop the Climate City Contract signed with the European Union together with residents and also national ministries such as the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland.

The Mayor of Lappeenranta, Kimmo Jarva, is rejoiced that the selection is a natural continuum for the European Green Leaf 2021 winning year of Lappeenranta.

– It is important that we can continue the collaboration not only with the European Commission but also with other European cities.

The Development Director of Lappeenranta, Markku Heinonen, says that the recognition is a great prize for the excellent preparation work already done in the area, such as Greenreality business network and LUT University’s meritorious action.

– Because such a small amount of structural funds was granted to South Karelia, in the future, the city is going to actively apply for direct European funding. We believe that our City Mission status has its own worth in this regard. Our goal is to abandon the import of fossil fuels to South-Eastern Finland, and increase the production of clean, domestic energy in South Karelia, and at the same time create new jobs and economic to the whole Finland. The urgency of this work is emphasized by Europe’s current dependence of the Russian energy.

Further information:

City of Lappeenranta

Markku Heinonen, Development Director
Tel. +358 40 581 1998, markku.heinonen(at)lappeenranta.fi