Illustration Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy

Heralded as the “world’s biggest urban climate and energy initiative” by Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives on their territory.

New signatories now pledge to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to adopt an integrated approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

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Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy - Leaflet
Leaflet introducing the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy and the benefits of joining. A high-definition PDF is available upon request.
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New 2030 Framework and Integration of Adaptation

In the summer 2015, spurred on by Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commission and the Covenant of Mayors Office launched a consultation process with the support of the European Committee of the Regions to collect stakeholders’ views on the future of the Covenant of Mayors. The response was unanimous: 97% called for a new target beyond 2020 and 80% called for a longer-term target. The majority also endorsed the 2030 objectives for a minimum 40% CO2/GHG reduction and supported the integration of mitigation and adaptation to climate change under a common umbrella.

The new integrated Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy was launched by the European Commission on 15 October 2015 during a Ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels. The three pillars of the strengthened Covenant - mitigation, adaptation, and secure, sustainable and affordable energy - were symbolically endorsed on this occasion.

Signatories’ vision

Signatories endorse a shared vision for 2050: accelerating the decarbonisation of their territories, strengthening their capacity to adapt to unavoidable climate change impact, and allowing their citizens to access secure, sustainable and affordable energy.

Signatories’ commitments

Signatory cities pledge action to support implementation of the EU 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

In order to translate their political commitment into practical measures and projects, Covenant signatories commit to submitting, within two years following the date of the local council decision, a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake. The plan will feature a Baseline Emission Inventory to track mitigation actions and a Climate Risks and Vulnerability Assessment. The adaptation strategy can either be part of the SECAP or developed and mainstreamed in a separate planning document. This bold political commitment marks the beginning of a long-term process with cities committed to reporting every two year on the implementation progress of their plans.

Flashback: The origins of the Covenant and Mayors Adapt initiatives

After the adoption, in 2008, of the 2020 EU Climate and Energy Package, the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors to endorse and support the efforts deployed by local authorities in the implementation of sustainable energy policies.

The Covenant of Mayors is a unique bottom-up movement that succeeded in mobilising a great number of local and regional authorities to develop action plans and direct investments towards climate change mitigation measures.

Building on the success of the Covenant of Mayors, the Mayors Adapt initiative was launched in 2014, relying on the same governance model, inviting cities to make political commitments and take action to anticipate and prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change. End of 2015, the initiatives merged under the new integrated Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, adopting the EU 2030 objectives and an integrated approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

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