Worldwide—Support the Secretariat of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

Client: European Union

Duration: 2020-2025

Region: Worldwide

Country: Worldwide

Solutions: Environment

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, which is likely to increase to more than two-thirds by 2030. Cities use a large proportion of the world’s energy supply and are responsible for around 70 percent of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, with transport and buildings being among the largest contributors.

The roles of cities and local authorities as hubs of innovation and creativity have gained increasing importance in preparing for, and adapting to, the increased risk posed by climate change. Climate action in cities can catalyse national economic prosperity and enhance the quality of life for urban dwellers while reducing global emissions. Energy, building, mobility, and planning solutions and innovations in cities have the potential to deliver major emission cuts.

The idea of changing how we plan, build, manage, and power our cities and towns paved the way for the development of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM) for Climate and Energy initiative. In 2022, more than 12,600 cities from 143 countries across six continents—representing more than 1 billion people—are signatories of the GCoM. By doing so, they pledge to implement policies and undertake measures to reduce or limit greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the impacts of climate change, increase access to sustainable energy, and track progress toward these objectives.

The Support the Secretariat of the GCoM for Climate and Energy project develops, monitors, and leads climate and sustainable energy action and diplomacy globally through the local level, supporting the implementation of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals, and other United Nations’ initiatives on climate change and cities.

The DAI team provides systematic and continual support to the Global GCoM Secretariat in Brussels.

Sample Activities

  • Organise events to enhance the international visibility of the GCoM in coordination with the regional covenants.
  • Develop coordination mechanisms between the regional and the global covenants to improve coherence between their activities.
  • Develop the current IT and database infrastructure of the global covenant into a more cohesive platform for data collection, conversion, analysis, and storage.
  • Further develop the regional covenant structures and competencies in the context of the Paris Agreement, the 2030 Agenda, and EU Climate Diplomacy.
  • Enhance promotion, coordination, technical support (help desks), and training activities for signatories nationally and regionally in accordance with the EU’s bilateral climate and energy dialogues.
  • Facilitate exchanges of good practices and experience, within and across regional covenants and other regions.
  • Develop regional capacities of scientific validation of inventories and Action Plans.
  • Highlight European examples among different solutions by cities.
  • Develop concepts for public-private partnerships between cities and the private sector.

Select Results

  • Supported the launch of the Cities-Meet-Cities Expert Exchange program to facilitate knowledge exchange among signatory cities. Out of 78 applications, 20 cities were selected for program support in implementing local Climate Action Plans.
  • Organised the Innovate4Cities Global Marketplace, which convened cities, local governments, funders, academia, and stakeholders to foster partnerships for research and innovation, bridging the gap in local climate action implementation.
  • Supported the revision of the Common Reporting Framework on data management, including simplification, to improve data collection by signatory cities.
  • Provided on-demand technical support to 26 cities in 7 countries. Among these, 13 cities joined GCoM, 2 renewed their commitments for 2030, while 3 remain dormant signatories. Currently, 19 cities receive support as GCoM signatories.
  • Mobilized helpdesk experts, now fully operational in Oceania and Central Asia.
  • Produced 25 videos showcasing mayors and city staff discussing climate initiatives and the significance of city alliances, shared across GCoM’s social media channels.
  • Assisted in organising the inaugural Business Matchmaking event between 22 EU businesses and GCoM Latin American cities, held in Panama City during UN Climate Week in 2023.
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