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European Commission - Press release

EU Covenant of Mayors and Compact of Mayors launch largest global coalition of cities committed to fighting climate change

Brussels, 22 June 2016

Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will combine efforts and leadership to accelerate climate action at the local level worldwide.

Today, the world’s two primary city-led climate change and energy initiatives, the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, announced the formation of a new, first-of-its-kind global initiative of cities and local governments leading in the fight against climate change. This single initiative will create the largest global coalition of cities committed to climate leadership, building on the commitments of more than 7,100 cities from 119 countries and six continents, representing more than 600 million inhabitants, over 8% of the world’s population. The launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy comes six months after the historic Paris climate change conference, where cities were crucial voices in shaping and advocating for a strong global agreement, and is a historic and powerful response by the world’s local leaders to the urgent climate challenge.

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 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. Both initiatives have supported participating local governments in setting ambitious climate reduction goals, taking ambitious action to meet those objectives, and measuring their progress publicly and transparently.

The new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will be the world’s largest coalition of mayors promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to a low-carbon economy.

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "The EU Covenant of Mayors shows that when mayors share a vision of a low-carbon future and roll up their sleeves, things get done. Bottom-up and close to the citizens: that is the strength of the European Covenant. As of today, this will become the strength of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, a coalition that is truly unique on the global scene. 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."

Today, the world’s cities are uniting their efforts to fight climate change behind a single global organization, something that has never before happened," said 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. “In unity there is strength, and this new Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy will help accelerate the progress cities are making and magnify their influence on the global stage. This is a giant step forward in the work of achieving the goals that nations agreed to in Paris."

By aligning city-led efforts, the Global Covenant of Mayors of Mayors for Climate & Energy will allow for greater collaboration between cities across the world, bridging gaps and building connections, as well as increasing funding to support and empower city action on sustainable energy and climate change. This merger will harness the convening and investment powers of the European Union and Bloomberg Philanthropies, as well as the critical global city network partners of each initiative, including C40, ICLEI, UCLG, Eurocities, Energy Cities and Climate Alliance – allowing for a stronger presence and visibility of local authorities in the on-going work of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The new initiative will provide 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 (CDP Cities and the carbonn Climate Registry), allowing for comparison of cities' achievements to other cities and towns all around the world, and make them publicly available through a new Global Covenant of Mayors website, to be launched by January 2017.

Combining the two initiatives will streamline and consolidate efforts to increase and capture the collective impact of city action and build even greater momentum for locally-led climate action. A single coalition will also simplify city participation, freeing cities to focus on a single commitment with both local relevance and global impact. It will provide greater clarity for cities and ensure more consistent and comparable data — giving investors the ability to see that the actions cities have been taking are having lasting, verifiable, and most importantly, investable impact. One of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission's Energy Union strategy is resilient and forward looking climate policy that facilitates transition to a low-carbon, secure and competitive economy. The new initiative will be an important tool for achieving this goal.

For more information, please visit the Compact of Mayors website, and the Covenant of Mayors website.

About the Compact of Mayors

The Compact of Mayors is a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and to track their progress transparently. The Compact was launched in September of 2014 by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change, Michael R. Bloomberg. The Compact was activated under the leadership of the global city networks — C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40), ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) and the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) — and with support from UN-Habitat, the UN’s lead agency on urban issues.

About The Covenant of Mayors

Created in 2008 to implement the EU's 2020 climate and energy targets, the Covenant of Mayors has firm commitments of over 6800 cities in 58 countries resulting in Action Plans with an investment of over €110 billion. In 2015, Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete has launched the integrated Covenant of Mayors incorporating also adaptation to climate change and extending it to the 2030 timeframe. Covenant signatories voluntarily pledge action to support implementation of the European Union 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change. The EU Covenant of Mayors is funded by the European Commission and currently operated by the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), Climate Alliance, Energy Cities, EUROCITIES and the European Federation of Agencies and regions for Energy.

Contacts

Compact of Mayors

Lee Cochran

Lee@Bloomberg.org

Tel.: +1-917-664-7989

European Commission

Jakub Adamowicz

Nicole Bockstaller

IP/16/2247

Press contacts:

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email


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