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Sustainable energy and climate action plan
Welcome to Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
A voluntary commitment to achieve EU’s climate and energy targets
To combat climate changes, EU has decided on a reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG) by 40% to 2030.
Through the Covenant of Mayors, cities, provinces and regions can contribute to reach this goal while accelerating their local decarbonization.
The commitment also focuses on strengthen the local resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as on the citizens’ access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy.
Learn more about the covenant and associated action plan in these educational slides. This education was developed within the EU project EMPOWERING, empowering2020.eu
The lesson takes 5-10 minutes.
From launch to present situation
The Covenant of Mayors was launched in 2008 by the European Commission with the objective of engaging and supporting mayors to commit to reach the EU climate and energy targets.
2014 the Mayors Adapt initiative was introduced to increase the focus of local governments on adaptation to climate change.
In 2015, the initiatives were merged to the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, aiming for the 2030 targets of a reduction of greenhouse gases by 40%. The new commitment also included a pledge to adopt approaches to climate change mitigation and adaptation, as well as to ensure access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy for all citizens.
Altogether, there are at present near 8000 (old and new) commitments signed, now also reaching countries outside Europe. So far, this has led to a reduction of GHG emissions by 23% on average (expressed in CO2 equivalents in 2016).
Implementing Covenant of Mayors, means adopting a bottom-up approach, bringing together local and regional authorities and stakeholders to voluntary commit to achieve EU’s climate and energy targets. The commitment gives a stronger voice to local initiatives, facilitated by covenant community including:
- Signatories – which are local authorities democratically constituted by elected representatives,
- Coordinators – which are public authorities providing strategic guidance, technical and financial support, and
- Supporters – which are associations networking, promoting and supporting the signatories.
The covenant community is also going global by spreading to a number of regions outside Europe.
The Convenant step by step
The process for a Covenant of Mayors signatory involves the following steps:
- Political commitment by signing the Covenant of Mayors.
- Working with defining ambitions and targets.
- Establishing an action plan within 2 years, including baseline emission inventory and climate change risk and vulnerability assessment.
- Implementing practical actions.
- Submitting monitoring report every 2 years.
- Continuous work with evaluating and readjusting priorities.
Image source: Covenant of Mayors – Europe Office
Transforming into actions
The political commitment is transformed into practical actions by establishing a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), which before the 2015 revised Covenant of Mayors, was named Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP).
The action plan includes:
- An overall strategy for the local work on mitigation and adaptation, including defining targets, stakeholders, funding, etc.
- Mitigation of GHG emissions
- Adaptation to climate change*
In addition, the convent framework comprises access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy, including energy poverty. Guidance on this is under development.
*which is a separate part in the case of a SEAP
Mitigation of GHG emissions
The mitigation part in the action plan focuses on GHG emissions from final energy use in sectors under the local authority, where municipal buildings, tertiary buildings, residential buildings and transports are mandatory sectors.
The work includes:
- Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI), which comprises GHG emissions in the base year (reference).
- Mitigation Actions planned and their estimated energy savings, renewable energy production and CO2 reduction.
- Monitoring Emission Inventories (MEIs), which are follow-ups every two years of the status of the GHG emissions.
Adaptation to climate change
The part in the action plan on adaptation to climate change encompasses analysing potential hazards and assessing vulnerability that could be a potential threat or harm for the city, province or region in question.
The work includes:
- Adaptation Scoreboard, which is a self-assessment of the status of the process of adaptation to climate change.
- Risk and Vulnerability Assessment evaluating:
• hazard risks, e.g. heat waves, storms, forest fires,
• vulnerabilities, including socio-economic, physical and environmental, and
• expected climate change impacts without adaptation per sector.
- Adaptation Actions planned together with time frames and assigned responsibilities.
In the case of a SEAP, the adaptation is a separate part.
Support to signatories by Covenant of Mayors Office
The Covenant of Mayors Office have set up and are arranging several support activities, including:
- Helpdesks with different expertise.
- Capacity-building events, e.g. webinars, workshops, finance working groups, city-twinning programme.
- Covenant capacity-sharing, e.g. discussion forums, resource library.
- Financing support, including interactive funding guide.
In the online library of the Covenant of Mayors Office www.covenantofmayors.eu/support/library a guidebook on SECAP can be found – Guidebook ‘How to develop a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP)’. Part 1 – The SECAP process, step-by-step towards low carbon and climate resilient cities by 2030
For more information, see www.covenantofmayors.eu
Further educational slides can be found on empowering2020.eu/education
SECAP Walkthrough part 1
This is the first EMPOWERING webinar related to SECAP. It was held 16 May 2018 and is mainly dedicated to the new challenges of the CoM and how to tackle the baseline inventory emissions (BEI) with a collecting data support tool.
Test of own knowledge
Baseline Emissions Inventory (BEI) elaboration within EMPOWERING project – a presentation by Christos Tourkolias, Energy Policy Analysis DPT, Division of Energy Policy and Planning / CRES.
Link: Covenant Signatories are sharing their key actions as a source of inspiration for others. In our Good Practices database you will find achievements, case studies, city profiles, videos and more!