After the adoption, in 2008, of the 2020 EU Climate and Energy Package, the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors to endorse and support the efforts deployed by local authorities in the implementation of sustainable energy policies.
The Covenant of Mayors is a unique bottom-up movement that succeeded in mobilising a great number of local and regional authorities to develop action plans and direct investments towards climate change mitigation measures.
Building on the success of the Covenant of Mayors, the Mayors Adapt initiative was launched in 2014, relying on the same governance model, inviting cities to make political commitments and take action to anticipate and prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change.
End of 2015, the initiatives merged under the new integrated Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, adopting an integrated approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation and the EU 2030 objectives.
Heralded as the “world’s biggest urban climate and energy initiative” by Commissioner of Climate Action & Energy, the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy brings together thousands of local and regional authorities voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives on their territory.
New signatories now pledge action to support implementation of the EU 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
In order to translate their political commitment into practical measures and projects, Covenant signatories commit to submitting, within two years following the date of the local council decision, a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake. The plan will feature a Baseline Emission Inventory to track mitigation actions and a Climate Risks and Vulnerability Assessment. The adaptation strategy can either be part of the SECAP or developed and mainstreamed in a separate planning document. This bold political commitment marks the beginning of a long-term process with cities committed to reporting every two year on the implementation progress of their plans.