ESCT 2020 – 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns

Supporting cities, towns and local governments in implementing the EU climate policy in a manner to ensure a socially acceptable and economically viable move of society towards net-zero emissions.


Nearly 80 percent of people residing in the European Union live in cities. It is therefore essential for local leaders, civil society actors, politicians and businesses to do their part in implementing the global climate goals locally. These are the very people that were brought together at the “Mannheim 2020” conference.

The ESCT conferences act as an interface between the European Union, relevant international institutions as well as national and local sustainability movements and plays a key role in defining what a climate-neutral, sustainable city should be like and what measures have to be taken to achieve this goal.

ESCT is the largest conference on sustainable development in Europe. Its mission is to foster the exchange of experiences and knowledge among cities and to gather information on local climate activities. It thus offers an opportunity to provide important stimuli for sustainable urban development to achieve climate neutrality.

Speakers at the Green Deal plenary.

Speakers at the Green Deal plenary. Photo: (c) City of Mannheim


The 9th European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns took place from 30 September to 2 October 2020. The conference was jointly organised by the largest network of sustainable cities and towns, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and the city of Mannheim. Due to the corona pandemic a virtual conference had to be held which included live contributions by the host city. In the course of the three-day conference well over 1,500 people came together to witness the contributions made by more than 150 speakers. During the conference the “Mannheim Message” – a call for local governments to be fully integrated as partners into policy-making – was delivered to the European Commission.

Project information

Updated: April 2021

Countries: Germany

Project duration: 08/20 - 12/20

Target groups: Cities, towns and municipalities, EU Institutions, Regional governments

Implementing organisation: City of Mannheim

Partners: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability e.V.

Project Website:

Contact Person:

Mrs Agnes Schönfelder

City of Mannheim

Rathaus E 5
68159 Mannheim



The European Climate Initiative (EUKI):

Potsdamer Platz 10,
10117 Berlin – Deutschland
Tel.: +49 (0)30 338424 570

The European Climate Initiative (EUKI):

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.

For more information on the EUKI: www.euki.de