Brussels, 20 February 2009 – The EU values cities to be at the heart of sustainable development. In January 2008, the European Commission launched an initiative called The Covenant of Mayors, a commitment by 100 city leaders from across Europe to go beyond the EU aim of reducing CO2 emissions of 20% by 2020. During a recent ceremony at the EU Sustainable Energy Week (10 February 2009) over 350 more cities united themselves in this pledge, regardless of any political changes in the city administrations, backed with €15 million financial support from the European Investment Bank.
The initiative highlights that cities should contribute to halting climate change, as around 80% of CO2 is emitted in urban areas where the Union has no direct power of intervention because of the subsidiarity principle. The Covenant commits its signatories to producing action plans to feature how they intend to reach the emissions reductions both in the public and private sectors of the city concerned. The mayors will then have to report on implementation progress at least every two years and the next step would be to involve also regions in the process, as they play key roles in both energy production and consumption.
Please check the official website of The Covenant of Mayors here