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

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Covenant of Mayors

EWRC - 11.10.2017

How to help cities be sustainable: a European tour
Some of those reading this are convinced that local governments take action in the protection of the planet and climate change mitigation. Some are not. Hopefully there is one thing everyone can agree on: the facts.

The Covenant of Mayors just hosted a workshop where representatives from all over Europe demonstrated, with facts, how they drive the climate and energy transition in their territories. This workshop took place on 10 October, during the European Week of Regions and Cities, with representatives from all levels of government, their associations and energy agencies. These inspiring practices can serve as models for towns and regions across Europe and the world. So let’s discover some concrete actions that are taking place to better coordinate local, regional and national plans. Let’s go on a journey through different places in Europe.

The region of Central Macedonia, in Greece, is creating a sustainable development plan with a focus on urban mobility, a crucial part of every environmental policy. At the same time, it is hosting seminars across the region to inform society about climate issues. In Viroinval, in Belgium, the town is replacing public lighting with LED lamps, which leads to savings of up to two thirds of energy costs. 150 km south, in Luxembourg, the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure has launched the Climate Pact: a system to evaluate and reward efforts made by climate-friendly local governments.

What about training? The region of Sardinia trains cities and strongly promotes education in the field of climate change. Moreover, in Latvia, the Environmental Investment Fund is financially helping towns for green projects, such as renovating energy sources (gas to wood), or renovating buildings for better insulation.  In Wallonia, the POLLEC project helps towns have tools to better control their consumption such as a carbon calculator and a tool to assess vulnerability to climate change. Our Walloon association, UVCW, the region and the energy agency proved they could set up a cooperation that truly matters for cities.

You see? In towns and regions all over Europe, concrete actions are taking place to protect the planet. Let’s share and learn from each other. Interested in more best practices? Check out the Covenant of Mayors’ latest collection of European best practices for sustainable cities. Please contact CEMR Project Officer for the Covenant of Mayors, Eugenia Mansutti, for further information.

P.S.: Here’s another fact: in 2015, Covenant of Mayors signatories reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 23%. Join the movement for sustainable, climate-resilient cities. Join the Covenant of Mayors.
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