Covenant of Mayors: cities at the forefront of climate action
Europe’s mayors gather in the European Parliament in Brussels on Thursday to discuss initiatives to tackle climate change at a local level.
This year’s event marks the 10th anniversary of the Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, a European initiative connecting more than 7,700 towns and cities in Europe and beyond committed to reducing CO2 emissions and increasing resilience to climate change.
By implementing local climate action plans, they support the EU's objective to cut its CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020 and 40% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels.
Hundreds of Europe’s mayors and cities’ representatives will gather in the Parliament in Brussels on Thursday to share how they are improving the energy efficiency of buildings, transport and lighting; using renewable energies and adapting to a changing climate, as well as how to scale up their efforts.
Speakers include European Parliament President Antonio Tajani; Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of the European Committee of the Regions; European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič; Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy; as well as Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation.
More than 70% of Europeans live in cities and other urban areas, which account for around up to 80% of Europe’s energy use and about the same share of CO2 emissions. At the same time, cities are more and more affected by the consequences of those emissions, such as heat waves, extreme precipitation, storms and floods.
Keep up with the debate about cities and climate change by watching the Covenant of Mayors event live on Thursday from 9am CET and by following #eumayors2018 and @eumayors on Twitter.
EU efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
The EU is committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% in all economic sectors by 2030 compared to 1990 levels under the Paris agreement on climate change.
The EU is using three tools to achieve this goal:
- The revision of the EU's emission trading system, which covers emissions from the industry
- The Effort Sharing regulation, which covers sectors not covered by the emission trading system, such as transport, agriculture, buildings and waste management
- The Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry Regulation which deals with the effects of land change on forests