Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)
European section of United Cities and Local Governments

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Covenant of Mayors


Increased temperatures, melting glaciers, and extreme weather are clear signs that climate change is happening. Towns and regions play a major role in the battle against climate change - one of the greatest challenges of our time - given their responsibilities concerning spatial planning, energy and transport. Moreover, they have a strong ability to involve both citizens and the private sector in climate protection activities.

Since 2008 CEMR has been involved in the "Covenant of Mayors", a bottom-up initiative of towns and cities voluntarily committed to reach, or even exceed the European Union’s goal to reduce CO2 emissions by 20% before 2020.

As of today, almost 10.000 local and regional governments have joined the Covenant of Mayors.

The New Covenant of Mayors for Energy and Climate

In 2015, the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy.

Signatories now commit to reduce their CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030, and to adopt an integrated approach towards climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Within the new framework of the Covenant of Mayors, signatory cities commit to submitting a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP) outlining the key actions they plan to undertake in order to achieve the 40% CO2 reduction EU target by 2030.

The Covenant of Mayors now opens up to other regions of the world: the Covenant of Mayors of Sub-Saharan Africa was launched in 2015 to help local governments in the region get secure access to sustainable energy.
Our objectives:
  • To inform local governments interested in joining the initiative;
  • To act as a platform for the exchange of good practices;
  • To support the implementation of signatories' commitments, for instance through capacity building  activities (technical workshops, training on financing, etc.);
  • To coordinate contact between involved parties such as European institutions and initiatives, or the stakeholders involved in the Covenant at national or regional level (regions, provinces, energy agencies, associations of local and regional government, etc.);
  • To facilitate networking activites.

The Office of the Covenant of Mayors

The Covenant of Mayors Office is responsible for the overall initiative. It is managed by a group of networks of local and regional governments, led by Energy Cities, and composed of CEMR, Climate Alliance, EUROCITIES and FEDARENE.

What is CEMR's role ?

CEMR is primarily responsible for relations with Supporters of the Covenant which are associations of local and regional governments committed to providing political, administrative or technical support to signatories. Around 20 CEMR members are now Covenant Supporters.

We are also active in the promotion of the Covenant in Belgium and the UK where there is a low number of signatories.

Furthermore, CEMR also coordinates the synergies of the Covenant of Mayors with other related initiatives or financial instruments for local governments, such as smart cities, the European Green Capital, Life or Horizon 2020.

CEMR coordinator: Pedro Bizarro

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