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Covenant of Mayors

Image: multiethnic group of people cooperating for environmental protection
© elenasbl – Adobe stock, 2019

The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (CoM) is the mainstream European voluntary movement involving local authorities in the development and implementation of sustainable energy and climate policies. Since its launch in 2008, the initiative has progressively grown into a worldwide city movement, extending first to Europe's eastern and southern neighbouring countries and then to Sub-Saharan Africa. In 2017, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and Compact of Mayors merged into the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), an international alliance of local governments with a shared long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low-emission and resilient society. GCoM is building upon the key success factors of the CoM and counts more than 9.000 cities in 131 countries. The initiative tackles three pillars which are regionally tailored: climate change mitigation, adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and universal access to secure, clean and affordable energy.

In Europe, the CoM complements national climate change strategies and plans and signatories pledge to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 40%, increase their resilience to the impacts of climate change and take action to alleviate energy poverty.

Authorities signing up for the CoM commit to developing and implementing actions at local level to contribute to the climate challenge and the sustainability of their territories. This formal commitment is translated into concrete measures and projects by the implementation of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), which includes the strategies and the key actions local authorities intend to undertake. The SECAP is based on the outcomes of the Baseline Emission Inventory – BEI and the Risks and Vulnerabilities Assessment- RVA.

Signatories can benefit from networking with other CoM signatories with a view to funding opportunities, improve local health and quality of life and boost economic and employment growth.

The JRC provides scientific and technical support to the initiative, based on its expertise in fields such as sustainable energy, climate change mitigation and adaptation and access to energy. The JRC work includes:

  • Setting the methodological basis of the initiative, including guidebooks for local authorities
  • Evaluating and approving the SECAPs of cities with a feedback procedure for EU, EU Eastern Partnership countries and European Neighbourhood South Region
  • Developing assessment reports on the CoM initiative
  • Improving the data collection process
  • Co-chairing a technical working group on data and developing the new "standard" for city emission reporting, targets, action plans and adaptation for GCoM
  • Working on the methodological adaptation to the different regions of the world: South Mediterranean, Eastern partnerships, Sub-Saharan Africa, Regions: North America, Latin America, Japan, India, China and South-East Asia
  • Providing technical training for cities and regions and for regional experts and capacity building activities in FPI regions

A detailed guidebook for Sustainable Energy Action Plans and Emissions Inventory is available here.

Go to JRC Support to the Covenant of Mayors

Go to the Covenant of Mayors Website

Go to the Global Covenant of Mayors Website

To find out more about the JRC's work on similar topics, explore the related JRC portfolios: