Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa: helping cities tackle climate change and access to energy
The Covenant of Mayors for Sub-Saharan Africa (CoM SSA) was launched in 2015 and is part of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), the largest network of cities driving urban climate action, uniting more than 10,000 municipalities in their fight against climate change.
CoM SSA gathers local governments that are committed to implement climate actions to combat climate change and sustainable energy actions to improve access to energy. Since 2019, CoM SSA is co-funded by the European Union (EU), the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany (BMZ), and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
Urbanisation is transforming the world. While the African continent is still largely rural, it is one of the fastest urbanising regions around the world, and in the next 30 years, urban dwellers will outweigh rural residents for the first time in Africa. Its urban areas currently contain 580 million people and is expected to triple by 2050. As Africa urbanises, there is an increasing need to prioritise urban management, adaptation, and resilience policies for sustainable climate change action.
Local governments and cities have an important role in taking the lead with their own climate action plans by prioritising efforts that increase their resilience and adaptive capacity to the changes faced, supporting low emissions development initiatives, and ensuring access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy to provide sustainable urban services to their citizens.
Supporting cities for an effective response to climate change
The CoM SSA programme offers tailored capacity building and support to Sub-Saharan cities in developing their Sustainable Energy Access and Climate Action Plans (SEACAP), in line with national policies, plans, and reporting requirements. The overarching objective of the SEACAP is to translate cities' political commitment into practical measures and to integrate climate change adaptation and mitigation as well as access to energy into the urban sustainable development planning activities of local governments.
Sustainable infrastructures and investing in climate action
CoM SSA is expanding the focus to unlock climate finance at the local level, fostering dialogue with the private sector and financial institutions. For that purpose, local administration receives assistance in identifying and prioritising a pipeline of sustainable urban infrastructure and climate projects. This entails support for pre-feasibility studies, environmental studies, and financial structuring of projects to reach bankability, expert guidance, and capacity building on local and international financing requirements and standards, including potential sources for finance.
Networking and knowledge management
CoM SSA strengthens cooperation between local governments and between different levels of government (local, regional, national) through activities such as learning exchanges, capacity building, and events at regional and international level.
- 220,000 tons of CO₂ equivalent emission reduction potential for the 15 years following implementation
- At least 15 cities with developed or improved SEACAPs
- 16 local climate projects in financing pipeline with private sector, banks and/or international financial institutions
- €160 million mobilised for climate and energy projects