Themed data sheets

Title

Covenant of Mayors - Europe 2021 Ceremony: Towards a fairer and climate-neutral Europe for all

Description

The event was about how to discuss how to participate, engage, act and network for a fairer and climate-neutral Europe.

Categories

Circular economy

General information

The event was about how to discuss how to participate, engage, act and network for a fairer and climate-neutral Europe.

The signatories of the renewed European Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy have committed, among other things, to reduce 55% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030, to implement public policies to adapt to climate change and to ensure a just ecological and energy transition. These objectives can only be achieved through concrete actions such as, for example, the electrification of the vehicle fleet or making more charging stations available to citizens to improve sustainable mobility and reduce congestion and traffic. To this end, the mayors are committed to involving citizens, businesses and local actors in this transition, thus contributing to the objectives of the European Climate Pact. 

This vision of a decarbonised Europe by 2050 requires changes in citizens' behaviour and consumption habits, as well as the transformation of society's mentality towards new, more sustainable ways of living. But in order to achieve these changes, it is necessary to communicate to people why this process or transition is necessary, always in an accessible and understandable way. On the other hand, the private sector and companies are also demanding clarity on this issue in order to find out how to adapt their business models to the world to come. Local communities (municipalities and cities) must therefore focus their attention on precisely these issues as they are the level of governance closest to the lives of citizens in their daily lives. This is also where the work of the ambassadors of the European Climate Pact, who disseminate good practices and initiatives at the local level with a great fertilising power for action elsewhere in Europe, becomes necessary.

In conclusion, the climate plans or strategies carried out in the framework of the European Covenant of Mayors for Climate will take into account all actors in society (municipalities, businesses, organisations or associations, citizens, etc.). Efforts will also be made to avoid centralisation of energy policy in national authorities as much as possible, as multilevel governance and local climate action by municipalities are an essential part of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate. It will also seek to leverage all public resources and initiatives stemming from the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. 

Context
In 2008, the Commission launched the European Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy with the aim of helping mayors of European cities and municipalities to meet a set of energy and climate targets for 2020: 20% reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to 1990 levels, 20% of energy from renewable sources and 20% increase in energy efficiency. Since then, more than 10,000 local governments have focused their efforts on reducing GHG emissions, implementing public policies to adapt to climate change, ensuring access to affordable and sustainable energy and ultimately improving the quality of life of their citizens.

Having achieved the agreed 2020 targets, the Covenant entered, in April 2021, into a phase of renewing its climate ambitions with a new vision: to achieve a fairer and climate-neutral Europe by 2050.

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