THE COVENANT OF MAYORS - a bottom-up movement for sustainable energy roll-out

logo_conv_of_mayorsThe Covenant of Mayors is the mainstream European movement involving local and regional authorities, voluntarily committing to increasing energy efficiency and use of renewable energy sources on their territories. By their commitment, Covenant signatories aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020.

In order to translate their political commitment into concrete measures and projects, Covenant signatories undertake to develop and implement a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) and to engage their citizens and local stakeholders in energy-related action, inter alia by organisation of Energy Days.


Who can join the Covenant of Mayors?

Covenant of Mayors is open to all local authorities democratically constituted with/by elected representatives, whatever their size and whatever the stage of implementation of their energy/climate policies.


How to join?

Local authorities willing to sign up to the Covenant of Mayors must present and discuss it in their Municipal Council (or equivalent decision-making body democratically constituted with/by elected representatives). Once a decision to sign up is formally adopted (e.g. by relevant resolution) local authorities must inform about it the European Commission. They do it by sending a message to the Covenant of Mayors Office mailbox with enclosed adhesion form. The form must be duly completed and signed by mayor or other authorized representative of the City Council. After sending the message, local authority will be then included into the public list of Covenant signatories.


When to join?

Local authorities can sign the Covenant of Mayors at any time, there is no deadline! Once a year there are organized formal Covenant signing ceremonies which give the Mayors an opprtunity to make a symbolic public signature and gain visibility at the European level.


What do the Covenant signatories commit to?

Covenant signatories aim to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020 through energy efficiency and renewable energy actions. To reach this objective they undertake to:

  • prepare a Baseline Emission Inventory (BEI);
  • develop and submit a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) outlining the key actions that they plan to implement; the SEAP must be submitted within a year following the adhesion to the Covenant;
  • prepare regular implementation reports stating the degree of implementation of the action plan and the interim results;
  • promote their activities and involve citizens / local stakeholders in energy-related actions, inter alia by organising local Energy Days;
  • spread the message about the Covenant of Mayors, in particular by encouraging other local authorities to join and by contributing to major events and thematic workshops.


What if local authorities lack competences or resources to prepare and implement their SEAPs on thier own?

If an interested local authority lacks competences or resources to prepare its action plan on its own, it can receive support from administrations with such capacities, i.e. Covenant Coordinators (CC) and Supporters (CS). A list of CC and CS may be found at the Covenant of Mayors website.


Why to join?

Potential benefits of signing the Covenant of Mayors and - as a consequence - development and implementation of a SEAP, are following:

  • contributing to the global fight against human accelerated climate change,
  • demonstrating commitment to environmental protection and efficient management of resources,
  • reducing energy consumption and energy bills,
  • imrpoving local energy security,
  • improving the quality of life of citizens,
  • offering a stable environment for business,
  • creating new jobs,
  • improving the municipality's image,
  • better funding opportunities,
  • possibility of networking and exchange of experience with other Covenant signatories.


How European Commission supports Covenant signatories?

The European Commission provides signatory cities with:

  • an office responsible for promoting, coordinating and supporting the initiative,
  • a website for promoting and sharing successes,
  • tools and methods (guidelines, templates, etc.) to help prepare standardised emission inventories and Action Plans in compliance with those in existence,
  • financial facilities, notably from the European Investment Bank, the Structural Funds, etc.,
  • events for giving committed cities high political visibility at European level,
  • a network of Covenant Coordinators and Supporters for helping the smallest cities.


More information about the Covenant of Mayors may be found on the Covenant website:


The ENERGY FOR MAYORS consortium supported Covenant signatories in reaching their ambitious targets through:
  • organization of a series of training seminars for municipalities;
  • elaboration and dissemination of training materials;
  • accompanying over 80 municipalities from 7 European countries in the elaboration and implementation of their SEAPs;
  • organisation of local energy forums in supported municipalities in order to involve citizens and local stakeholders in the SEAP process;
  • implementation of pilot Energy Management Systems (EnMS) in 8 municipalities;
  • monitoring of the development and implementation of SEAPs elaborated within the framework of the project;
  • organization of over 30 Energy Days in different project regions in order to raise public awareness on issues such as energy efficiency, the use of RES and the links between energy use and climate change;
  • sharing lessons learnt during project realization with the wide public.

To learn more contact your national or regional coordinator!