Tackling vicious problems with climate-smart governance

Climate change mitigation and adaptation play a crucial role in promoting the green transition at the EU level. The EU has set a target to be climate-neutral by the end of 2050 (European Commission 2020). In order to achieve this goal, it is essential to involve policy makers at a local level in the development work of climate-smart policies.

To enhance the green transition, an Interreg Europe funded project “Pathways to climate-smart governance” (ClimateGO) starts at the beginning of April 2024. In this project seven partners from six EU regions will roll up their sleeves to support the development of smarter and more coherent climate policies. LAB University of Applied Sciences (LAB) has a lead partner role in this four-year project during which good practices and lessons learnt are shared both regionally and interregionally among policy makers and other relevant stakeholders. (Interreg Europe 2024a.)

A map of Europe in which participating regions are marked as green map marker icons.
Picture 1. Altogether seven partners from six EU regions are participating in the ClimateGO-project. Partners are LAB UAS, Regional Council of Päijät-Häme (Finland), Alzira City Council (Spain), City of Grenoble (France), Regional Development Agency for Podravje-Maribor (Slovenia), Košice Self-Governing Region (Slovakia) and Waterford City and County Council (Ireland). (Interreg Europe 2024c, modified by Hanna Suutari)

The kick-off for the project came from Antwerp

To get the best start for the project LAB participated in the Lead partner seminar arranged in Antwerp in mid-March. The event offered a lot of information related to project management, implementation and communication. In addition, there was an opportunity to network and share experiences with other Second Call Interreg Europe projects.

Interreg Europe is an interregional cooperation programme co-funded by the European Union. It helps governments in different levels – local, regional and national – to develop and deliver better policies by sharing solutions, good practices, and lessons learned between different European partners. The Interreg Europe programme contributes to all EU priorities: smart, green, connected, social, citizens and governance. The ClimateGO project belongs to the priority green – Greener Europe – and to the subpriority Climate change. (Interreg Europe 2024b.)

Two people standing in the front of a colourful background. The other one is holding a sign with the word GREEN.
Picture 2. The ClimateGO project belongs to the priority green – Greener Europe. (Picture: Ilkka Väänänen)

Cooperation is full of surprises

Throughout the project, the project partners work on their own regional strategies together with their regional stakeholders. This regional work will be continued and deepened during interregional meetings which each project partner organizes in turn. During these meetings, project partners also get to know the partner areas and their good practices. The ClimateGO project will organize the first interregional meeting in Lahti, Finland in mid-June 2024.

As pointed out at the Lead partner seminar in Antwerp, European cooperation is full of surprises. Let’s see what’s waiting around the corner. You can follow the journey on the project’s official website.

Link to the ClimateGO project’s website.


Marjut Villanen works as an RDI Specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences. Her interest lies in themes related to sustainability, climate change and circular economy. In ClimateGO she works as a project manager.

Hanna Suutari works as an RDI-specialist at LAB University of Applied Sciences. Her interest lies in themes related to climate change, circular economy and biodiversity. In ClimateGO project she works as a communication manager.


European Commission. 2020. A European Green Deal. Cited 27 Mar 2024. Available at  https://ec.europa.eu/info/strategy/priorities-2019-2024/european-green-deal_en

Interreg Europe. 2024a. Project Summary. ClimateGO. Cited 27 Mar 2024. Available at https://www.interregeurope.eu/climatego

Interreg Europe. 2024b. What is Interreg Europe? Cited 27 Mar 2024. Available at  https://www.interregeurope.eu/what-is-interreg-europe#anchor-topics-we-cover

Interreg Europe. 2024c. Maps. Cited 27 Mar 2024. Not publicly available.


Link 1. Interreg Europe. 2024a. Project summary. ClimateGO. Cited 27 Mar 2024. Available at https://www.interregeurope.eu/climatego