This study is a first attempt to evaluate how the major efforts made by several European cities in the frame of the Covenant of Mayors (CoM) initiative can impact the air pollution levels in the participating cities. CoM is by no mean one of the major cities initiatives aimed at mitigating climate change, supporting local authorities in the implementation of their climate action plans. Energy savings measures reported in the CoM cities' action plans have been analysed from the air quality perspective in order to find quantitative relations in the way local authorities deal with mitigation and how these practices are expected to have consequences on the air quality at urban level and finally positively impacting the citizens' health.
In the paper, the air quality 2713 energy saving measures proposed by 146 cities located in 23 countries in the frame of the CoM are selected and their co-benefits for air quality and public health estimated by means of SHERPA, a fast modelling tool that mimics the behaviour of a full physically-based Chemical Transport Model. Besides evaluating the overall benefits of this subset of mitigation measures for the air quality, the study also investigates the relevance of some factors such as the implementation sector, the city size and the pollution levels in achieving the highest possible co-benefits. The results presented refer to the special field covered by the study, i.e. energy saving measures and are not automatically referable to other types of measures. Nevertheless, they clearly show how climate mitigation and air quality policies are deeply interconnected at the urban level.