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It is time for the Covenant of Mayors and its 10,000 municipalities to step up their climate ambition

The EU Covenant of Mayors, the Commission’s flagship initiative supporting municipalities to tackle the energy transition and climate crisis, is seeking to raise ambition on the path towards climate neutrality in line with the European Green Deal, putting a greater focus on action.

2020 marked a key milestone: launched in 2008, the initiative was first aimed at helping cities prepare plans to achieve EU energy and climate targets for 2020. Comprehensive figures will only be available in early 2022, but partial results already indicate that this objective has been fulfilled.

Now, at a time when the EU is stepping up its energy and climate ambition for 2030 and 2050, it is time for the Covenant of Mayors and its 10,000 municipalities to do the same.

“Cities drive the energy transition on the ground and are at the forefront of the fight against climate change,” said Commissioner for Energy Kadri Simson. “They turn our policies and objectives into clean buses and bike lanes; they install solar PVs on our roofs, renovate our buildings, sometimes our entire neighbourhood, implementing the Renovation Wave and fighting energy poverty.”

The Covenant of Mayors will now ask signatories in the EU to increase their objectives as regards emission cuts, climate adaptation and just transition, looking at horizons both for 2030 and 2050.

A differentiated approach will be introduced, to allow front-runners to aim for climate neutrality while allowing others to catch up and align their efforts to the trajectory foreseen by their Member State.

“Let’s make the Covenant a place where all EU cities can challenge themselves and display their excellence,” continued Mrs Simson.

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