The Covenant of Mayors: In-depth Analysis of Sustainable Energy Action Plans

Silvia Rivas
Giulia Melica
Albana Kona
Paolo Zancanella
Tiago Serrenho
Andreea Iancu
Brigitte Koffi
Irena Gabrielaitiene
Greet Janssens-Maenhout
Paolo Bertoldi
Policies and Targets
Urban Areas

As part of the European Commission’s Covenant of Mayors Initiative, the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre has carried out an in-depth analysis of selected sustainable energy action plans (SEAPs). Based on a sample of 25 cities from different EU Member States, the study seeks to identify and extract the common and most important characteristics of how local authorities across Europe are developing and implementing this policy. The study examined the strategies used by different local authorities in their SEAPs, with specific analysis of methodology, policies, governance, external support and regional and national characteristics. This gives us a picture of the strengths and weaknesses of different cities in their attempts to reduce their total GHG emissions by 2020.



The study focuses on two types of Covenant signatory:

  • cities already involved in climate, air quality, sustainability and energy plans who adapted their plans to the Covenant requirements
  • cities for which the Covenant was the point of departure for developing strategies to decrease their total emissions.

Just as important are the conclusions drawn by the study, which cover areas such as:

  • best practices
  • circumstances favouring the adoption and implementation of local sustainable energy policies
  • small municipalities’ need for external support in developing their SEAP
  • the result of signatories joining forces to develop their SEAPs
  • the role of the covenant territorial coordinators (CTC)within the initiative.
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