The Covenant of Mayors is a European Commission initiative that seeks to bring together Europe’s most pioneering local authorities in a permanent network to take the lead in the fight against global warming. The Covenant consists of the formal commitment of the adhering cities and municipalities to go beyond EU objectives in terms of reducing their CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy actions.
The Covenant is open to all local authorities, whatever their size and whatever the stage of implementation of their energy/climate policies. The only condition for adherence is a commitment to the objectives and submission of the relevant technical documents.
Signatory cities aim to reduce their CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2020 through energy efficiency and renewable energy actions. To reach this objective, cities and regions commit to:
- Submit a Sustainable Energy Action Plan within the year following adhesion, outlining the measures and policies they will implement to achieve their targets;
- Publish regular implementation reports stating the degree of implementation of the programme and the interim results;
- Promote their activities and involve their citizens, including the organisation of Energy Days and participation in major events; and
- Encourage other cities to join and other stakeholders to formalise their contribution to the Covenant
The European Commission commits to:
- Provide technical assistance and networking support;
- Monitor implementation and results;
- Provide political recognition and visibility directly to the signatories;
- Negotiate the contribution of third parties;
- Negotiate the support of territorial authorities for smaller cities; and
- Mobilise finance.
The objective of the Intelligent Energy Europe II (IEE II) Programme is to contribute to secure, sustainable and competitively priced energy for Europe by providing for action to:
- Foster energy efficiency and rational use of energy resources,
- Promote new and renewable energy sources;
- Support energy diversification; and
- Promote energy efficiency and use of new and renewable energy sources in transport.
The 2009 work programme provides for dedicated actions on European networking for local action and on sustainable energy communities to provide support for promotional and preparatory activities linked to the Covenant of Mayors. A budget of €10.5 million has been proposed by the Commission.
The Intelligent Energy Europe 2009 programme also funds the European Investment Bank (EIB) Project Development Facility for the Covenant of Mayors. This facility aims to accelerate introduction of sustainable energy in the cities involved in the Covenant by:
- Encouraging and helping project promoters identify and prepare bankable projects;
- Improving access to equity and credit markets, maximising investment leverage from available budgetary resources; and
- Reducing transaction costs, notably by bundling small investments into more economic packages/portfolios.
For additional information about the Covenant of Mayors initiative please visit: www.eumayors.eu or contact us.