What is the Covenant of Mayors?
The Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to contribute to the EU target for reducing greenhouse gases emissions by increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories.
After the adoption of the EU Climate and Energy Package (updated under COM/2015/080), the European Commission launched in 2008 the Covenant of Mayors initiative as a way to endorse and support the efforts deployed by local authorities in the implementation of sustainable energy policies.
In September 2016 already 213 million citizens are covered by a city that adhered to the initiative, which proves the successful outreach to local authorities at various levels (from municipalities to regions and provinces), nonprofit organizations and networks. The minimum mitigation target of 20% greenhouse gases emission reduction by 2020 was, in September 2016, already overcommitted with 7% point by 5910 signatories (representing 204.01 million citizens) that set an overall reduction target of 27%.
In 2015 the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy was announced by DG ENER, that extended its mandate to cover not only mitigation but also adaptation and with a time horizon to 2030 (in line with EU’s 2030 climate and energy package).
Signatories after October 2015 should integrate also the adaptation to climate changes aspect by assessing the climate risks and vulnerabilities in their territories and planning measures to address them adequately.
Covenant of Mayors methodology
The key of the Covenant of Mayors methodology is the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), in which signatories commit to a minimum CO2 emission reduction target (according to the moment of adhesion: 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2030, for signatories after October 2015) and define the actions they need to put in place to reach their commitment.
The scope of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) is:
- To evaluate the energy consumption and greenhouse gases emissions due to energy consumption in the baseline year by building a Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI).
- To define, to describe and to estimate quantitatively energy-related greenhouse gas reduction measures.
- To define strategies for efficiently monitoring the effect of the implementation of measures.
- To define the roles of the various stakeholders in the implementation of the measures.
The methodology for accounting the emission inventories was established mainly by the EDGAR team. More details about the approach on emission inventories: The Covenant of Mayors approach on building emission inventories.
The methodology of the energy actions and measures, including the monitoring of their implementation (also financially) is addressed by the energy efficiency team. More details are given on https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/energy-efficiency/urban-areas/covenant-mayors.
The direct interaction and main website of the Covenant of Mayors is the mandate of the Covenant of Mayors Office under https://www.covenantofmayors.eu/en/.
Annual assessment report: Covenant of Mayors in figures: 8-year assessment, JRC EUR 28723, 2017.