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World Summit Climate & Territories: Vice-President of the European Commission is "proud" of the Covenant of Mayors
World Summit Climate & Territories: Vice-President of the European Commission is "proud" of the Covenant of Mayors' success
8 July 2015 - 09:34

Gathered in Lyon on the occasion of the World Summit Climate & Territories for two days (1-2 July), hundreds of non-state players debated climate issues and strongly stated their common will to take on the challenge of limiting global warming below 2°C. Vice-President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič took a break in his “Energy Union Tour” across Europe to come show his support ahead of COP21.

Hosted by the Rhône-Alpes Region, the summit was notably organised by networks of local authorities, civil society organisations and supported by private companies and media groups. Energy Cities, Climate Alliance, CEMR and EUROCITIES (composing the Covenant of Mayors Office together with FEDARENE), organised a debate as an official side-event to the summit on “The Covenant of Mayors going global”.

This debate, held on 1 July, was aimed at answering two questions:

1- What did the Covenant of Mayors trigger in French cities?

2- Should the Covenant of Mayors be extended to a global scale?

Representatives from French signatory cities (Nantes, Grenoble, Urban community of Grenoble Alpes Métropole, Paris, Dijon, Urban community of Bordeaux, Urban community of Plaine Commune) all agreed to say that the bottom-up approach of the Covenant of Mayors has allowed them to develop a long-term political vision on climate and energy issues.

Regarding the possibility for the initiative to go “global”, a consensus quickly emerged: the Covenant of Mayors could definitely be useful at a global scale. Participants however stated that it does not mean “exporting” the Covenant model as it is, but rather offering a common vision, as well as a robust methodological framework and support based on the European experience. Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, who attended the debate, expressed the EU’s pride towards the Covenant of Mayors. According to him, it is a shining example of how local authorities play a crucial part in shifting towards a low-carbon economy: “The Covenant of Mayors initiative represents a massive positive movement… It helps incorporate cities into EU policies”, and particularly in the Energy Union strategy.

Later, Deputy Mayor of Copenhagen (a Covenant signatory) Morten Kabell addressed the audience in plenary session, to stress the success of the Covenant of Mayors and concluded: “When nations TALK it is up to cities to ACT”.

© photo Energy Cities

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