Such a multilevel governance mechanism can be found in the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – Europe (Covenant-Europe), which the European Commission describes as a "central force" of the transition in its Communication on the European Green Deal. The European Climate Pact plays a pivotal role in the full implementation of the European Green Deal. The Climate Pact will focus on spreading awareness and supporting action, in order to connect and collectively develop and implement climate solutions, big and small. The Climate Pact works alongside existing initiatives, networks and movements such as the Covenant-Europe.
The Covenant-Europe brings together more than 10 000 local governments, in 61 countries, who have voluntarily committed to implementing EU climate and energy objectives. Through the Covenant of Mayors Office in Brussels, the European Commission provides robust technical support and guidance on financial instruments for cities and regions willing to set up sustainable energy and climate action plans (SECAPs).
The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) has supported this initiative since its creation in 2008. The CoR strongly believes that the Covenant of Mayors is a fundamental European flagship initiative to promote climate and energy action on the ground. At the same time, it showcases the crucial role of LRAs in supporting the European Union's fight against climate change and its transition to clean energy.
The Covenant-Europe needs politicians who see the advantages and opportunities of being frontrunners in the energy and climate transition and see the benefit of doing so together with other European cities and regions, while being part of the largest movement of LRAs for climate in the world.
Acknowledging the historical role of the CoR in promoting the Covenant of Mayors initiative, the European Commission has decided on enhanced cooperation with the CoR. Rafał Trzaskowski (PL/EPP), Mayor of Warsaw capital region (also a signatory of the Covenant-Europe) and rapporteur on the European Climate Pact opinion was appointed as CoR representative to the newly extended Covenant-Europe Board. This political board discusses the strategic orientations of the initiative, to ensure it is tailored to cities' needs and to foster dialogue between the European Covenant Community and the EU institutions.
With a view to enhancing the work at national level, a second chamber will be created, composed of 27 members of the European Committee of the Regions (one per Member State) acting as National Ambassadors of the Covenant-Europe Initiative.
The members of the chamber will work to ensure national representation in terms of its governance. They will work to foster more tailored feedback, as well as supporting the promotion of the initiative at national level. These national ambassadors, depending on their availability and the specific situation in their country, may do a series of activities such as:
- Acting as national Ambassador for the Covenant-Europe: e.g. by promoting the initiative in their home country or collaborating with other Climate Pact Ambassadors
- Enhancing the representation of cities at national level by promoting country-specific activities in cooperation with the Covenant of Mayors Office and boosting cooperation with national governments and others cities
- Mobilising their peers to join the movement: e.g. via cooperation with the national associations of local and regional authorities, CoR national delegations and the network of the Young Elected Politicians. Members of the chamber will also work to ensure the active promotion of the Covenant of Mayors by the members of the European Parliament.
Getting involved in the Covenant-Europe Community
The Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – Europe is open to all democratically constituted local authorities consisting of elected representatives, regardless of their size or the stage of implementation of their energy and climate policies. Click here to join the Covenant of Mayors!
You can find information on other relevant EU and global initiatives to join on the CoR dedicated webpage.