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Covenant of MayorsCovenant of Mayors

The Covenant of Mayors approach on building emission inventories

The Covenant of Mayors methodology proposes a consolidated and flexible framework to enable local authorities, to produce robust and comparable inventories of Green House Gas emissions and encourages a regular reporting practice: at least every four years a full monitoring report containing a monitoring emission inventory should be submitted.

The baseline emission inventory sets the starting point and the subsequent monitoring inventories allow monitoring progress towards the target. The approach is based on principles of simplicity of use, flexibility and policy relevance.

The Covenant emission inventories serve as an instrument to support local action planning on energy therefore they are focused on emissions mainly associated with final energy consumption (incl. electricity and other fuels/carriers) in sectors which can be influenced by policies implemented by local authorities (housing, services, transport).

For EU signatories, the recommended baseline year is 1990, or the closest subsequent year for which the most comprehensive and reliable data can be provided. The emission reduction target is set against the baseline year and it can be set either as absolute reduction or per capita reduction. The Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI) covers the CO2 emissions or CO2 equivalent emissions occurring due to energy consumption in the territory of the local authority.

The energy-related emissions coming from other sectors might be included in the BEI, if the SEAP foresees measures for them (e.g. industry not under the European Emission Trading Scheme, highways not exploited by the city but on its territory).

Some emission sources not related to energy consumption might be also included in the BEI and in the SEAP, for example wastewater and solid waste treatment.

Local energy (electricity, heat/cold) production should be accounted for in the BEI when the municipalities intend to develop and implement actions aiming at reducing the CO2 emissions also on the supply side (e.g. development of the district heating network, wind farms, PV, etc…).

The Covenant has a certain level of flexibility that allows signatories when calculating their emissions to apply emission factors according to the IPCC approach (based on the carbon content of the fuel) or according to the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach, thus taking into account also emissions occurring during the production and distribution chain for each energy carrier. Also they can opt for counting exclusively CO2 emissions or to include in their inventories and SEAP targets also other Greenhouse Gases such as CH4 or N2O.