Covenant of Mayors
  Covenant Coordinators & Supporters November 2011  
Provinces and regions help signatories deliver sustainable future
To date, over 1,000 Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) have been adopted by Covenant Signatories and submitted to the European Commission. The steady increase of this number is to a large extent to be attributed to the coordination role played by regions and provinces under the framework of the Covenant of Mayors. In the last few months, Spain has emerged as a good example of this extensive cooperation between signatories and territorial coordinators.

On 29 November, the Presidents of the Alicante and Barcelona Provinces proudly presented respectively 70 and 61 action plans from their associated municipalities to Philip Lowe, Director of DG Energy at the European Commission, and Member of European Parliament Jan Olbrycht, on the occasion of the third Covenant of Mayors Ceremony.

In the Province of Alicante, the submission of this first set of action plans is the result of work conducted in municipalities of less than 20,000 inhabitants, but the objective is to “extend activities across the entire Province”, said Province President Luisa Pastor in an exclusive interview with the Covenant of Mayors Office.

Territorial Coordinators indeed play a key role in helping local authorities to comply with the Covenant commitments. In Alicante, the Provincial Council has helped municipalities with the development and drafting of their Baseline Emission Inventory and Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP). The municipality Gata de Gorgos was one of the first signatory of the Province to submit its SEAP. In 2010, it was awarded a “Sustainable Municipality Prize” and allocated €14.000 to carry out environmental actions. During an awareness-raising event called “Energy sustainability: the model of Gata de Gorgos”, numerous municipalities from the area were given more information about the Covenant of Mayors and encouraged to follow the example of Gata de Gorgos. To support municipalities in this process, the Provincial Council also created specific working groups on the Covenant of Mayors, each composed of an elected representative, to undertake a leadership role, and a practitioner from the administration to deal with more technical aspects.

In the Province of Barcelona, out of 165 municipalities which have signed the Covenant of Mayors, almost 140 SEAPs have been adopted. Overall, these plans foresee the implementation of over 6,000 actions which are expected to result in an emissions reduction of 4.2 million tonnes of CO2 by 2020.

Financing SEAPs: The Andalusia example

A total of 46 projects derived from the Sustainable Energy Action Plans of Andalusian municipalities are to be financed thanks to a cooperation between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Innovation and Development Agency of Andalusia, as was announced in October on the occasion of a conference held in Seville on climate change and urban environment. The President of the Andalusia Region José Antonio Griñán and the Vice President from the European Investment Bank (EIB) Magdalena Álvarez delivered a joint statement on the agreement struck between the two institutions, which aimed at identifying new financing lines – such as revolving funds - to implement the measures outlined in the SEAPs.

The 46 projects in question are to benefit 33 municipalities from the eight provinces of the Andalusia Region and will contribute to a reduction of over 8 million tonnes of CO2 reduction. These first measures are set to generate an investment of €26 million. They will include improvements of the public lighting system, energy-efficient refurbishments of buildings, deployment of co-generation, substitution of fossil fuels by biomass, renewable energy use in municipal facilities and improved waste management. In a second step, the European co-financing should amount to as much as €350 million and target all the 500 signatory municipalities. Taken altogether, the SEAPs of Andalusian municipalities will involve an investment of over €3.700 million and lead to the creation of more than 26.000 direct jobs within the 2011-2020 time-horizon.

The Andalusian Sustainable Energy Action Plans are special projects aimed at mitigating climate change effects and reducing CO2 emissions, but also roadmaps towards a new production model and the pursuit of social welfare,” said Griñán.

Further reading: Download the Thematic Leaflet on Sustainable Energy Action Plans

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  The sole responsibility for the content of this newsletter lies with the Covenant of Mayors Office. It does not necessary reflect the opinion of the European Union. The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein. The Covenant of Mayors was set up with financial support of the European Commission and consists of five associations of European local authorities: Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, Eurocities, CEMR, Fedarene, and ICLEI Europe.

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