The Covenant of Mayors in Europe
Raising the profile of local authorities
Since its launch in 2008, the EU initiative known as the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy has brought together over 8,700 local authorities in EU member states, covering roughly one third of the EU population. Each has voluntarily committed to meeting or even exceeding EU climate and energy objectives. By placing the local level at the centre of energy and climate action with direct European-level support, the Covenant of Mayors is truly a one of a kind initiative that has contributed substantially to increased international recognition for the importance of the local level in climate action.
Covenant signatories endorse a shared vision for 2050:
- Accelerating the decarbonisation of their territories
- Strengthening their capacity to adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts
- Ensuring their residents access secure, sustainable and affordable energy
Signatories also commit to reducing CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and to adopting an integrated approach to climate change focusing on both mitigation and adaptation. Each signatory develops a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan in which it outlines how it plans to meet or surpass national targets for the European 2030 Climate and Energy framework. Signatories also track progress toward these objectives.
Climate Alliance’s role
Climate Alliance leads the European Covenant of Mayors office. From the beginning, we have been both instrumental in shaping this city movement and influential in shaping EU climate and energy policy as it applies to local authorities. The Climate Alliance executive board regularly deliberates on the strategic orientations of the Covenant of Mayors and Mercè Conesa i Pagès, president of the Climate Alliance member Province of Barcelona, speaks for the network on the Covenant’s Political Board. Strong representation in this key body further ensures that Climate Alliance members, and local authorities in general, are in direct dialogue with EU institutions and other relevant national and international decision-makers on the needs of the local level.
As part of the Covenant of Mayors Office and in our role as an official Covenant Supporter, Climate Alliance also plays a leading role in providing technical support and practical guidance to European local authorities. Most of our National Coordination Offices are themselves Covenant Supporters in their own countries where they help adapt the initiative’s approach to realities in their countries and exchange with their national authorities, furthering an enabling legislative framework and the right financial resources.
Photos: Covenant of Mayors