Newsletter XVIII - JRC gives science support to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

A training workshop on mitigation and adaptation to climate change, which was organised by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in the framework of the Global Covenant of Mayors (GCoM), was held in August 2019 in Corrientes, Argentina.

 The GCoM - or to use its full title, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy - is the largest global alliance of cities and local governments with a shared long-term vision of taking measurable action to combat climate change and transition to low-emission and more resilient societies.

 Currently, the European Commission supports secretariats covering the EU, eastern and southern neighbouring countries of the EU, Sub-Saharan Africa, North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, China and South-East Asia, India and Japan, Australia. In Europe, the EU Covenant of Mayors is firmly embedded in the EU’s climate and energy policies, and signatory cities will contribute significantly to the implementation of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy package and of the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change.

 The GCoM helps local authorities worldwide to translate their commitments into action, through the implementation of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs), while taking into account their diverse needs. The European Commission, through the JRC, provides scientific and technical support to the GCoM, and is in charge of ensuring the scientific quality of the initiative by:

- Developing methodologies regionally adapted for the SECAPs implementation.
- Evaluating the SECAPs and providing a complete feedback to the participating cities, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of their plans.
Supporting local authorities in designing and implementing their plans by providing training to local actors and stakeholders through Technical Workshops.
- Assessing the overall impact of the initiative worldwide.

The guidance material, prepared by the European Commission with the support and input of many experts from municipalities, regional authorities and other agencies or private companies, offers a set of methodological principles and a harmonised data compilation and reporting framework, under the GCoM’s “Common Reporting Framework”.

The JRC prepares guidebooks for the different regions of the world, taking into consideration their differences under a single harmonisation umbrella, and with the aim of helping local authorities prepare action plans to reach committed targets.

The JRC is responsible for training experts, local actors and stakeholders involved in the initiative. During the workshops, the JRC provides cities’ delegates with materials, tools and hands-on exercises focusing on the initiative’s three interconnected challenges:
- Climate change mitigation (through decarbonisation).
- Climate change adaptation.
- Access to secure, sustainable and affordable energy.

As well as the training workshop in Argentina, the JRC conducted an experts’ consultation on the first Global Covenant guidebook for Latin America, on 25-27 September 2019 in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.

This news item is based on an article published in the JRC Newsletter on 23 August 2019 (see web-link below).

Paulo Barbosa
European Commission, Joint Research Centre (JRC)

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