• 22 Oct 2020

    New scientific study explores the impacts of the Covenant of Mayors initiative on air quality


    "Impacts of a climate change initiative on air pollutant emissions: Insights from the Covenant of Mayors"

    by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre

     

    Highlights of the study

    - Evaluation of air pollutant emissions corresponding to locally reported CO2 emissions.

    - Methodology applied to over 1600 Covenant of Mayors signatories.

    - Most changes correspond to co-benefits for both climate and air pollution.

    - The role of technological improvement to limit emissions is highlighted.

     Abstract

    "The Covenant of Mayors is a successful European initiative which encourages local authorities to be proactive in fighting climate change. Recently, it expanded to cover adaptation and energy access/poverty and became a global initiative. In this study we investigate an additional perspective: synergies and trade-offs between climate and air quality. Signatories pledge to reduce their Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and voluntarily report their emissions, energy consumption and the measures that they carry out to reach their goals.

    We develop a methodology to estimate air pollutant emissions corresponding to CO2 emissions CoM signatories report, using information they already submit and national estimates of air pollutant emission factors. The methodology is applied to over 1600 signatories in Europe, representing over 80 million inhabitants. Results show that, in general, signatories are reducing both types of emissions. However, there are also cases where emissions increase. We explore the reasons behind these changes and highlight the role of technological improvement. This work calls for an increased coherence between climate and air quality plans at the local scale and provides a first step and a tool to support signatories, even the smallest ones, to move in this direction."

    >> Read full-text study