Brussels, 22 June 2016. The EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors announced the formation of the first international initiative of cities and local governments in matter of climate change. Since they are the primary city-led climate change initiative, this project will create the largest global coalition of cities engaged in climate leadership: we are talking about more than 7,100 cities from 119 countries and six continents, representing more than 600 million inhabitants, over 8% of the world’s population. This initiative, called Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change & Energy is a result of the historic Paris climate change conference (December, 2015) where cities and local governments played a crucial role for the final agreement. The aim of the world’s largest coalition of mayors is to promote and support voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low-carbon economy.
It is important to remember that the Covenant of Mayors was launched in 2008 by the European Union after the adoption of the 2020 European Union Climate and Energy Package. The Covenant of Mayors covers 6800 cities in 585 countries with an investment of over €110 billion and currently is operated by CEMR, Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, Eurocities and FEDARENE. On the other hand, the Compact of Mayors was launched in September 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg and mayors from global city networks C40, ICLEI and UCLG with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues.
In connection with the announcement of the initiative, European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said that the strength of the European Covenant lied on bottom-up and close-to-citizens approach. It is precisely this characteristic that European mayors will lead to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy. It is an important factor because this low-carbon and resilient coalition is truly unique on the global scene and: “Never before have so many cities joined forces, eager to inspire each other and committed to collectively taking the path to a low-carbon, resilient society.”
Then, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change Michael R. Bloomberg, who will Co-Chair the new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy underlined cities efforts to fight climate change. According to him, unity is the strength of this covenant because it makes possible to magnify influence on the global stage.
By increasing and unify city-led initiatives, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will increase funding to support city action on sustainable energy and climate change building connections and bridging gaps among the actors. This proposal will take advantages of investment powers of European Union and Bloomberg Philanthropies including the importance of worldwide city network partners such as C40, ICLEI, UCLG, Eurocities, Energy Cities and Climate Alliance. This will strengthen the role of local authorities in the work of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The new initiative will provide also a common platform that brings together relevant data on cities’ energy and climate actions reported to the current EU Covenant platform and the platforms supporting the Compact of Mayors, allowing for comparison of cities’ achievements to other cities all around the world, and make them publicly available through a new Global Covenant of Mayors website, to be launched by January 2017.
These two projects will capture the collective impact of city action and create a momentum for city-led climate action. A single coalition will promote participation (cities will be free to focus on a single commitment with both local relevance and global impact), provide greater clarity and ensure more consistent and comparable data – a crucial aspect for investors.
Hence, it is clear that the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change & Energy will be an important role for achieving one of the most important political goal of the Juncker Commission’s Energy Union strategy, c’est-à-dire a resilient and forward looking climate policy that facilitates transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy.
Sulla scia dell’accordo di Parigi sul clima, EU Covenant of Mayors e Compact of Mayors lanciano un grande progetto, chiamato Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change & Energy con lo scopo creare la più grande coalizione mondiale di sindaci e città per la promozione e il supporto di azioni mirate a combattere il cambiamento climatico e facilitare il passaggio verso un’economia sostenibile.