New 2030 Framework and Integration of Adaptation
In the summer 2015, spurred on by Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commission and the Covenant of Mayors Office launched a consultation process with the support of the European Committee of the Regions to collect stakeholders’ views on the future of the Covenant of Mayors. The response was unanimous: 97% called for a new target beyond 2020 and 80% called for a longer-term target. The majority also endorsed the 2030 objectives for a minimum 40% CO2/GHG reduction and supported the integration of mitigation and adaptation to climate change under a common umbrella.
The new integrated Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy was launched by the European Commission on 15 October 2015 during a Ceremony in the European Parliament in Brussels. The three pillars of the strengthened Covenant – mitigation, adaptation, and secure, sustainable and affordable energy – were symbolically endorsed on this occasion.
Signatories endorse a shared vision for 2050: accelerating the decarbonisation of their territories, strengthening their capacity to adapt to unavoidable climate change impact, and allowing their citizens to access secure, sustainable and affordable energy.
Signatory cities pledge action to support implementation of the EU 40% greenhouse gas-reduction target by 2030 and the adoption of a joint approach to tackling mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
In order to translate their political commitment into practical measures and projects, Covenant signatories commit to submitting, within two years following the date of the local council decision, a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake. The plan will feature a Baseline Emission Inventory to track mitigation actions and a Climate Risks and Vulnerability Assessment. The adaptation strategy can either be part of the SECAP or developed and mainstreamed in a separate planning document. This bold political commitment marks the beginning of a long-term process with cities committed to reporting every two year on the implementation progress of their plans.