Through the Covenant of Mayors cities voluntarily commit themselves to increase energy efficiency and renewable energy use.© Carla Palha Vinhas da Costa
New EU project encourages EU neighbours to participate in Covenant of Mayors
A new EU programme, for Sustainable Urban Demonstration Projects (SUDeP), has been announced today as part of the EU's efforts to motivate municipalities to sign up for the Covenant of Mayors (CoM), a European Commission initiative to reduce CO2 emissions for which the JRC provides scientific and technical support. The new package will help the EU's Eastern and Southern Neighbourhood to address local sustainable challenges such as energy efficiency, security of energy supply and sustainable economic growth. The programme is expected to start in the beginning of 2014.
Among other activities in the project, scientific and technical support from the JRC will be provided for monitoring the implementation of the Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs) under the Covenant of Mayors. This will be the main focus of the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine), while for the Southern Neighbours (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Syria1 and Tunisia) the SEAPs are considered part of broader local sustainable development plants.
Covenant of Mayors
Through the CoM, local and regional authorities voluntarily commit themselves to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy. They aim to meet and exceed the European Union 20% CO2 reduction objective by 2020.
The JRC supports the signatories, for instance, by operating a technical helpdesk service in co-operation with the CoM Office, by developing the methodology and guidelines for setting up local greenhouse inventories and defining suitable energy actions, and providing feedback on the action plans.
Since its launch in January 2008, more than 5,000 cities from more than 40 countries have signed up, including over 60 cities from the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia, and some from the southern Mediterranean.