Covenant of Mayors Office
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Development of a Baseline Emission Inventory, Risk & Vulnerability Assessment and Action Plan
- Develop a clear vision of your long-term strategy
- Build on your existing activities
- Involve citizens and local stakeholders
- Estimate and allocate financial resources
- Conduct a Baseline Emission Inventory
- Conduct a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
- Develop your Action Plan
Develop a clear vision of your long-term strategy
The vision for a sustainable energy future is the guiding principle of the Covenant signatories. It serves as the uniting component that all stakeholders can refer to, meaning everyone from political leaders to citizens and interest groups.
Your vision needs to be compatible with the Covenant of Mayors’ commitments: it should imply that the local authority will reach the 40% CO2-emission reduction target by 2030 and will increase its resilience to climate change. We strongly encourage you to be even more ambitious!
Such a vision should be a realistic one that may in addition reflect new values or breaks some old boundaries that do not have justification any more. It describes the desired future of the city and is expressed in visual terms to make it more understandable for citizens and stakeholders. Keep your vision and your objectives “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound!
Build on your existing activities
Within a municipality, there are lots of parallel planning and policies, but also potential synergies in the work of different departments. You need to identify the existing municipal, regional and national policies, plans, procedures and regulations that affect energy and climate issues within your local authority. You can go through and check the objectives and goals in the identified documents with the ones for a sustainable energy policy and adaptation to climate change. All the relevant players and stakeholders could be invited to discuss the potential conflicts and synergies.
Involve citizens and local stakeholders
Developing a Baseline Emission Inventory, a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment or a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan requires substantial resources. Your municipality, especially if it is a small one, may face difficulties in finding the human/financial capacities and technical expertise to meet its objectives. However, assisted by your regional Covenant Coordinators and Supporters, such efforts can be shared, and synergies created. You can expect Covenant Coordinators and Supporters to give you wide-ranging advice on all aspects of energy and climate actions, as well as useful technical assistance in the design of your Action Plan.
For more information on Covenant Coordinators and Supporters, please see the “ABOUT” section of the website.
Citizen involvement is also a key for stimulating behavioural change. As a Covenant signatory, you are also committed to mobilising and involving citizens in the process. Strategies of information, communication, awareness-raising, motivation and co-ordination are crucial ingredients for your success!
- Covenant Coordinators
- Covenant Supporters
Click here to see if there is any Covenant Coordinator or Supporter in your area.
Estimate and allocate financial resources
Financial resources should be identified for the development and the implementation of your long-term strategy, including the main (re)allocations in the municipal budget, the corresponding time frame and the potential alternative funding sources (e.g. European/national/regional funding schemes, ESCOs, Public-Private Partnerships etc.)
Conduct a Baseline Emission Inventory
Energy consumption and CO2 emissions at local level are dependent on many factors: economic structure, level of economic activity, population, density, characteristics of the building stock, usage and level of development of the various transport modes, citizens’ behaviour, climate, etc.
Some factors can be influenced in the short term (like citizens’ behaviour), while others can only be influenced in the medium or long-term (energy performance of the building stock). It is useful to understand the influence of these parameters, how they vary in time, and identify upon which the local authority can act (in the short, medium and long-term). The Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) quantifies the amount of CO2 (or CO2 equivalent) emissions due to energy consumption on the territory of the Covenant signatory. It identifies the main sources of CO2 emissions and their respective reduction potentials.
The BEI is the starting point for the mitigation actions of your SECAP elaboration, as it will provide knowledge of the nature of the sectors emitting CO2 and will thus help you identify appropriate actions. Further information and methodological support: Part II of the SEAP guidelines.
For further information, please visit the FAQ page in the SUPPORT section.
Conduct a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment
The Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment is necessary to the adaptation part of the SECAP elaboration, as well as to any kind of baseline review cities want to undertake to start their adaptation processes. This review aims to create a solid basis for setting priorities and targets in a city or region’s climate change response. It takes stock of present climate conditions and expected changes, and helps to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, risks and opportunities in terms of climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The Climate Risk and Vulnerability Assessment should consider the variables of exposure, sensitivity and their related effects (which increase the city’s vulnerability), as well as an assessment of their adaptation potentials, or adaptive capacity, (which reduce the city’s vulnerability).
The information required to conduct such an analysis comes from three different domains that includes:
- Climate and biophysical science - focuses on climate change manifestations and impacts
- Technical domain - focuses on the functionality and vulnerability of ‘hard’ systems
- Socio-economic domain - focuses on ‘soft’ systems, particularly the governance and management system as well as socio-economic systems.
This assessment will determine the vulnerability of each city system and of the city as a whole and is the starting point for determining efficient measures for adapting your municipality to the effects of climate change.
Further information: Step 2. of the Urban Adaptation Support Tool and Capacity Development Package for Local Authorities, chapter “Climate Baseline Review”.
- What is a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment (RVA)?
- What tools can support the development of the RVA?
Develop your Action Plan
The SECAP is a strategic and operational document that defines a comprehensive framework for the 2030 objectives. The ’C’ in SECAP refers to the climate adaptation activities, added in 2015. The process for mitigating is identical to the ones related to SEAPs, which makes it easy to extend your commitment to the 2030 targets. You can still use the existing guidance documents available on the Covenant of Mayors website (SUPPORT > Library). The SECAP is an action plan composed of one or more parts and built on the “Baseline Emissions Inventory” (BEI) for mitigation and the “Risk and Vulnerability Assessment” (RVA) for adaptation: it defines both mitigation and adaptation actions. Signatories have to report on the implementation of their SECAP every two years through a monitoring report. On this occasion, they can readjust their priorities and review the action plan to make sure they achieve their targets. You can have a look at the action plans already submitted by Covenant signatories on the Signatories page in the ABOUT section of the website. You can also find some examples of successful and replicable actions implemented by other signatories, coordinators or supporters – explore our online catalogue of Benchmarks of Excellence!
- Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP)
- Benchmark of Excellence
For further information, please visit the FAQ page in the “SUPPORT” section.
Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
The Covenant Step by Step
Local and Regional Energy Agencies
Monitoring Action Plans
Signatories’ Benchmark of Excellence
Coordinators and Supporters’ Benchmark of Excellence
As a Local Authority
As a Province or Region
As a Network of Local Authorities
As an Associated Partner
As a Local and Regional Energy Agency