Global Covenant of Mayors: Europe's regions and cities ready to spearhead fight against climate change

The Global covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy was launched yesterday in Brussels. Through the Global covenant, the two most successful city initiatives on climate - the EU Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors – joined forces. This marks a major breakthrough in implementing the UN's Paris climate agreement which recognised the role of the regional and local levels for the first time

The new initiative, co-chaired by European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič and UN Special Envoy for cities Mike Bloomberg, will bring together more than 7,100 cities from 119 countries representing more than 600 million people who have agreed to take action locally to halt climate change and increase access to sustainable energy for all. Its Global Secretariat will be located in Brussels and be embedded in the European Commission

European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič said: "The launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy is an important milestone. It shows cities and regions want to work together, inspire each other and take collective action towards a low-carbon, resilient society. The EU Covenant of Mayors has proven that when mayors and regional leaders roll up their sleeves, things start moving. Based on the same principles that inspired the EU Covenant, the time has come to go global. I'm looking forward to building on our partnership with the Committee of the Regions as the EU's partner representing regions and cities in taking this initiative forward".

President of the European Committee of the Regions, Markku Markkula said "The Committee has always fully supported the Covenant of the Mayors since its very inception as it is clear that only by taking action locally can we find an answer to climate change. The merging with the Compact of Mayors is a clear signal that cities and regions across the globe are ready to collaborate, share ambition and set the future agenda on climate change. We are now ready to take the lead in mobilising cities and regions in the European Union and beyond".

The launch of the new global coalition took place only a week after the launch of the Covenant of Mayors CoR Ambassadors . The new group of CoR members is composed of local and regional elected politicians whose regions and cities are already signatories of the Covenant. They will become climate emissaries, speaking at international events and encouraging towns, cities and regions to join the Covenant of Mayors. Covenant signatories are supported by the EU, facilitating technical and financial assistance for the design and implementation of sustainable energy and climate measures.

Through its Mediterranean and Eastern networks, the CoR is already supporting the globalisation of the Covenant of Mayors by engaging local and regional leaders in the region. During the forthcoming COP22 in Marrakesh, the CoR plans to organise a Cities Summit to move forward on the implementation of the Paris climate agreement, reinforce the call for multilevel governance on climate issues and motivate mayors in Morocco and from other countries to join the Covenant of Mayors.

Creating smart sustainable EU regions and cities will also be the focus of the Bratislava Summit on 8 and 9 July where both President Markkula and Vice-President Šefčovič will share their views on how to better use resources in Europe to drive economic growth.