The Global Covenant of Mayors
The world’s largest city movement
Since its launch in 2008, the Covenant of Mayors initiative has grown into the world’s largest city movement. It has secured the commitments of thousands of cities across six continents and more than 120 countries, representing almost 10% of the world’s population. The initiative was first extended to counties neighbouring Europe to the East and the South and later to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In 2016, the Covenant of Mayors entered a major new phase of its history by joining forces with another city initiative, the Compact of Mayors.
The resulting Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy now also covers North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and much of Asia including countries in the South-East as well as China, India and Japan. Thus far, a total of nine regional and national Covenant Offices have been set up.
These regional and national Covenants operate as local chapters of a global alliance that is capitalising on the experience gained in Europe and beyond. The regional approach allows the initiative to be tailored to local realities while retaining its basis in bottom-up governance, multi-level cooperation and context-driven frameworks for action. In the future, the Covenant is set to expand even further.
Climate Alliance’s role
Climate Alliance has been working with municipalities in Eastern Europe via the Covenant of Mayors since 2011 and, since 2016, has been very much a part of the Covenant’s globalisation. In addition to the European Union, Climate Alliance forms part of the consortia managing the Covenant of Mayors in Eastern Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa and Japan.
The shaping of the Global Covenant will have a major influence on how local level climate action will be recognised and made use of. Climate Alliance is aware of this fact and represents its members’ needs in the strategic orientation of this global movement. We are also involved in day-to-day decisions and participate in various technical working groups. These working groups gather experts from a wide variety of disciplines to discuss the design of Regional and National Covenants on the basis of regional contexts and local authority capacities.
We are also capitalising on the Global Covenant to spread our members’ successful examples and lessons learned, support members interested in cooperating with cities in other regions of the globe, and push for climate justice.
Photos: © Global Covenant of Mayors