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The good news came at the end of April: the City of Differdange has been selected as part of the “100 climate-neutral and smart cities” initiative launched by the European Commission. It is aimed at helping 100 European cities to become climate neutral by 2030.

This is one of the many efforts included in the European Green Deal to reduce polluting emissions by at least 55% by 2030, as cities produce more than 70% of the world’s CO2 emissions and account for 65% of global energy consumption.

In total, more than 370 cities had expressed their interest in participating in this initiative. In Luxembourg, Differdange, which is the third largest city in the country in terms of inhabitants (28,600), was finally selected to take up the challenge. This choice was guided not only by the capacity to have a strong impact in terms of climate neutrality, but also by proposals for innovative ideas on how to achieve the digital and intelligent dimension of the mission.

A clear political commitment

The 100 selected cities, representing 12% of the European population, are now called upon to develop, in a participatory way, “climate city contracts” that will include a plan for climate neutrality in sectors such as energy, buildings, waste management and transport. These measures will not be binding, but will represent a clear political commitment.

“The first and probably most important step was to inform Differdange of this unique opportunity and to convince the city’s representatives of the importance of the initiative,” explains François Sprumont, Advisor – European R&D and Innovation Support at Luxinnovation. “It was also important to inform the municipality of Differdange about the benefits and responsibilities of the mission. We then provided support during the whole application process. Of course, the European RDI team will continue to assist Differdange throughout the life of this project.”

“After presenting the project to us, Luxinnovation was very quick to provide answers to our questions and helped us formalise the submission of our application,” says Luc Arend, from the City of Differdange’s Ecology Department. “Now that the project is on track, the partnership with Luxinnovation will be invaluable in putting us in touch with the companies that will help us achieve our goal. We see this selection as a logical reward for our commitment to environmental protection over the past years. And even if the measures we are working on are not binding, we intend to fulfil our mission first of all to live up to our selection, but also because we are aware that the reduction of greenhouse gases is one of the major challenges for the preservation of our planet.”

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