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European Commission


Brussels, 19 March 2014

European Commission joins forces with European cities to tackle climate change

On 19 March European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard will launch Mayors Adapt, a new initiative that inspires cities to take action to tackle climate change.

Mayors Adapt – the Covenant of Mayors Initiative on Adaptation to Climate Change – has been set up by the European Commission to engage cities in taking action. Cities signing up to the initiative commit to the overall aim of the EU Adaptation Strategy, to develop local adaptation strategies within the first two years of signing and review the outcomes on a biannual basis.

At the official launch of the initiative, Deputy Mayor of Naples, Tommaso Sodano, Joost Venken, Deputy Mayor of the Belgian city of Hasselt and Neil Swannick, member of Manchester City Council and the Committee of the Regions, will join Commissioner Hedegaard and Jos Delbeke, Director-General for Climate Action, to reinforce the need for early action on climate change adaptation and highlight the important role of cities. The event will also see the live launch of the Mayors Adapt official website.


As major centres of population and infrastructure, cities are particularly vulnerable to extreme weather events and the effects of climate change. They therefore play a key role in implementing the measures to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate.

By joining the Mayors Adapt initiative, participating local authorities will benefit from support for local activities to tackle climate change, a platform for cooperation, and greater public awareness about adaptation and the measures that need to be taken.

The initiative will provide several services:

  • A Help Desk to give personalised support to interested and participating cities;

  • Information on networking events aiming to promote best practice sharing and peer-to-peer learning and workshops to discuss proposed local initiatives;

  • Guidance and materials including factsheets, information on initiatives and more.

Mayors Adapt is being implemented on behalf of the European Commission by a consortium led by Ecofys, comprised of Climate Alliance, Fresh Thoughts and IFOK GmbH.

Further information:

Link to the Mayors Adapt official website: (the website will be activated after the official launch during the event today 19 March).

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