Press release | 24.06.2016

Launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

Frankfurt/Brussels, 24 June 2016. This week, a momentous merger was announced by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg between two initiatives coordinating mayors on climate action: the Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors. The newly formed “Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy” initiative forms today the largest global coalition of cities committed to climate leadership. “Mayors and regional leaders are in the driver seat, (…) they are the best placed to design the solutions needed in cities” said European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič at the press conference held on 22nd June in Brussels.

Both initiatives have been working to unite cities and support them in fighting climate change. The Covenant of Mayors, launched by the European Commission in 2008 and boasting over 6,800 signatories and hundreds of provinces and regions stands as the world’s largest city-led initiative on climate action. Recognised as a first-of-its-kind bottom-up movement, it covers roughly a third of the EU population in 58 countries. The movement has done much to boost recognition of local authorities’ importance throughout EU climate and energy policy, paving the way for effective multi-level governance. Following on the heals of this success, the Compact of Mayors was founded in 2014 by Michael Bloomberg, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change. The Compact currently unites some 500 cities and has a global reach. The fusion of these two movements will thus create a united and global front on climate action, comprised of 7,100 cities and representing more than 600 million people in 119 countries. The work of all the world’s major city networks, including Climate Alliance, will be crucial in bringing this initiative forward.

Climate Alliance, one of the key forces in the running of the Covenant of Mayors office, has long advocated for global action on the local level, standing behind the recommendation to export the Covenant of Mayors model worldwide. Climate Alliance is prepared to share the experience gained over the last eight years through the operation of the Covenant of Mayors Secretariat to ensure the newly formed Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy is built upon the principles behind the Covenant’s success.

Through the Covenant of Mayors, a new paradigm has emerged, based on grassroots democracy, genuine political commitment, action and multi-level cooperation. We like to think that this Global movement will pursue an inclusive and all-embarking governance process, while continuing ensuring a coherent framework that empowers local authorities and fosters local actions. This now global movement will hopefully provide local leaders with an even stronger voice in international climate policy and action.

More information:
European Commission’s Press Release
Video of the Press Conference launching the Global Covenant
‘Charter’ for the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy
The Global Covenant of Mayors Factsheet
Climate Alliance recommendations for the future of the Covenant of Mayors