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IP/09/225

Brussels, 6 February 2009

The Covenant of Mayors – the main highlight of an intense EU Sustainable Energy Week

EU Sustainable Energy Week 2009 (EUSEW 2009) will open its doors to more than 6000 registered participants and visitors on Monday, 9 February 2009. The highlight of this year’s EUSEW (9-13 February) will be the written commitment of around 400 cities to reduce drastically their CO2 emissions by 2020. A year after the design of the Covenant of Mayors initiative, city leaders from across Europe will meet in Brussels on 10 February to confirm their pledge in writing.

“This commitment by EU’s leading cities to cut CO2 emissions is indicative of the consensus that is emerging at the local level to reduce pollution and improve energy efficiency. The EU’s Sustainable Energy Week is a timely opportunity to focus attention on these critical issues and to give European stakeholders the opportunity to showcase potential solutions. Europe needs to maintain its leading role in the battle against global warming and continue to reduce energy consumption and its dependence on energy imports,” said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

EUSEW 2009 takes place against the backdrop of the crisis in EU energy imports following the recent Ukraine-Russia gas dispute which highlights both the EU’s over-dependence on imports and the urgent need for energy-saving solutions.

At local level across the EU, 146 events in 52 cities have been organised in association with the European Commission as part of EUSEW. These involve some 200 partners ranging from local, regional and national authorities, to energy agencies, companies, associations and NGOs.

Covenant of Mayors

On Tuesday, 10th February, around 400 cities will sign up to the ‘Covenant of Mayors’ at a special ceremony at the Hemicycle of the European Parliament (14:30 to 17:30). This commitment by a major group of European cities to substantially cut their CO2 emissions is the focal point of an EU-wide program of demonstration actions as part of this year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week.

By signing the Covenant, the mayors will commit their cities to adopting sustainable energy action plans within twelve months and achieving a series of targets and obligations. Their progress will be closely monitored by external evaluators and they will be required to submit regular status reports.

Prior to the signing, a press conference featuring the EU Commissioner for Energy, Andris Piebalgs, the President of the Committee of the Regions, Luc Van den Brande, the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal Quadras, and the Mayors of Budapest, Gábor Demszky, Hamburg, Ole von Beust and Madrid Alberto Ruiz Gallardón will be held at 13:30 at the European Parliament press room.

Sustainable Energy Awards 2009

On Tuesday evening at 19:30 the Sustainable Energy Awards 2009 ceremony will be held at the Albert Hall, Avenue Eudore Pirmez 9, Brussels. Awards will be given to the most outstanding and innovative projects carried out inside and outside the EU by sustainable energy partners. Award winners and nominees will be available for interviews during the awards ceremony.

For a full list of media highlights, please visit EUSEW’s press corner at www.eusew.eu. For more information and interviews opportunities, contact Kostas Mastakas at Mostra Communication: kma@mostra.com or +32 2 537 44 00.


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