The European Commission has opened a new chapter in the life of the EU Covenant of Mayors for climate and energy, seeking to raise ambition on the path towards climate neutrality in line with the European Green Deal, and put a greater focus on action on 21 April.
2020 marked a key milestone for the EU Covenant of Mayors, the Commission’s flagship initiative supporting municipalities to tackle the energy transition and climate crisis. Launched in 2008, the initiative was first aimed at helping cities prepare plans to achieve EU energy and climate targets for 2020. Comprehensive figures will only be available in early 2022, but partial results already indicate that this objective has been fulfilled. Now, at a time when the EU is stepping up its energy and climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, it is time for the Covenant of Mayors and its 10,000 municipalities to do the same.
In a speech to this afternoon’s meeting, Commissioner Simson said: "Cities drive the energy transition on the ground and are at the forefront of the fight against climate change. They turn our policies and objectives into clean buses and bike lanes; they install solar PVs on our roofs, renovate our buildings, sometimes our entire neighbourhood, implementing the Renovation Wave and fighting energy poverty."
The Covenant of Mayors will now ask signatories in the EU to increase their objectives as regards emission cuts, climate adaptation and just transition, looking at horizons both for 2030 and 2050. A differentiated approach will be introduced, to allow front-runners to aim for climate neutrality, while allowing others to catch up and align their efforts to the trajectory foreseen by their Member State. As the Commissioner said: "Let’s make the Covenant a place where all EU cities can challenge themselves and display their excellence."
In order to make the most of cities’ ability to motivate action at local level, another new feature will be the increased commitment of cities to engage their citizens, businesses and local stakeholders in the transition via the Climate Pact. The European Climate Pact is an EU-wide initiative inviting everyone to participate in climate action and build a greener Europe.
Local authorities have a huge role to play on the path towards climate neutrality, therefore it is remarkable that the signatory municipalities of the Covenant of Mayors act in coordination with the European Commission and fellow municipalities to implement the relevant sections of the European Green Deal. ECOPNET (European Cooperation and Partnership Network), with its Working Groups European Cities Cooperation and Partnership Network (ECCPN) and Green Deal, continues to work with municipalities across Europe towards this end. If you - as a municipality - wish to become a partner of the ECOPNET network, click here.
Source: European Commission Press Corner