The Covenant of Mayors is a multifaceted initiative, involving a wide range of actors, numerous steps and processes. Through the present glossary, newcomers should be able to find their way through, with comprehensive information about the Covenant, from A to Z!
Associated Partners are professional associations, NGOs, and other such structures which are in a position to provide linkages with private companies and civil society, as well as support to Covenant signatories, notably in the form of technologies, tools, financial incentives, promotional materials, cultural and participative initiatives.
A Baseline Emission Inventory is a quantification of the amount of CO2 emitted due to energy consumption in the territory of a Covenant signatory during a baseline year. It allows to identify the principal sources of CO2 emissions and their respective reduction potentials.
Benchmarks of Excellence are relevant examples of initiatives which Covenant signatories, Coordinators and Supporters feel particularly proud of, and moreover endorse as useful actions for other local authorities, provinces, regions or networks to replicate.
The European Commission defines “Covenant Coordinators” as those public administrations which provide strategic guidance, financial and technical support to municipalities signing up to the Covenant of Mayors but lacking necessary skills and/or resources to fulfil their requirements. Covenant Coordinators are sub-national decentralized authorities - including provinces, regions and public groupings of municipalities - and national public bodies as national energy agencies for instance.
The Covenant of Mayors Office (CoMO), established and funded by the European Commission, is responsible for the coordination and daily management of the initiative. It provides signatories with administrative support and technical guidance, facilitates networking between Covenant stakeholders and ensures the promotion of their activities. The CoMO is managed by a consortium of European networks representing local and regional authorities, led by Energy-Cities and composed of CEMR, CLIMATE ALLIANCE, EUROCITIES and Fedarene.
The European Commission defines “Covenant Supporters” as European, national and regional networks and associations of local authorities which leverage their lobbying, communication and networking activities to promote the Covenant of Mayors initiative and support the commitments of its signatories.
Local and regional energy agencies (LAREAs) support the introduction of good energy management practices, advocate the concept of sustainability, provide information and guidance, and offer a number of other local services based on specific local energy needs. The energy agencies are funded by public authorities.
The Helpdesk is the primary interface between local authorities and the Covenant of Mayors Office. It responds to general or technical enquiries about the initiative and assists signatories through the process.
An implementation report is a document that Covenant signatories commit to submit every two years after the submission of their Sustainable Energy Action Plan, and which outlines the interim results of its implementation. The aim of this report is to assess whether the preliminary outcomes are in line with the foreseen objectives.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the scientific and technical arm of the European Commission. It is responsible for providing the technical and scientific support to the initiative. It works in close co-operation with the CoMO to provide signatories with clear technical guidelines and templates in order to assist delivery of their Covenant of Mayors commitments as well as to monitor implementation and results. Website of the JRC: http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/jrc/
Local Energy Days are events organized by Covenant signatories as part of their official commitments, with the aim of raising public awareness of the opportunities offered by a more intelligent use of energy. They provide an occasion for local authorities to involve stakeholders and citizens in a common dialogue related to the development and implementation of Sustainable Energy Action Plans. Usually organised for a specified period, the types of events may vary, but normally include activities such as workshops, exhibitions, guided visits and open door days.
The Risk and Vulnerability Assessment is an analysis that determines the nature and extent of risks related to climate change, by analysing potential hazards and assessing vulnerability that could pose a potential threat or harm to people, property, livelihoods and the environment on which they depend. It allows the identification of areas of critical concern and therefore provides information for decision-making. The Risk and Vulnerability Assessment serves, along with the Baseline Emission Inventory, as the point of departure for the development of the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan.
A Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) is the key document in which the Covenant signatory outlines how it intends to reach its CO2 reduction target by 2020. It defines the activities and measures set up to achieve the targets, together with time frames and assigned responsibilities. Covenant signatories are free to choose the format of their SEAP, as long as it is in line with the principles set out in the Covenant SEAP guidelines.
Signatories of the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy now commit to preparing and implementing a Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), addressing both climate mitigation and adaptation with a 2030 horizon. The action plan is the key document which shows how the Covenant signatory will reach its vision and target. The plan includes an assessment of the current situation, i.e. a Baseline Emission Inventory for the climate mitigation part and a Risk and Vulnerability Assessment for the adaptation part, clearly identified goals and targets; and the measures planned together with time frames, assigned responsibilities and estimated impacts.
The Covenant of Mayors reporting templates provide signatories with a structured manner of summarising the key elements of their action plan and tracking of implementation during the monitoring phase. When signatories submit their action plan document (in their national language), they are at the same time required to complete an online template available via the Covenant website restricted area: ‘My Covenant’ in English. Only after this process is completed, the official submission of the action plan to the Covenant of Mayors takes place.
The Thematic Discussion Group is an information-and –experience-sharing service that aims to stimulate interaction and networking between Covenant stakeholders. These tailor-made exchange platforms bring together predetermined categories of Covenant stakeholders – ie, large cities and metropolitan areas; small and medium-sized signatories; Covenant Coordinators and Covenant Supporters - to discuss Covenant-related topics and questions with their peers, notably during events organized by the Covenant of Mayors Office, online forums and webinars.
Thematic Workshops are interactive, capacity-building sessions organised by the CoMO to foster experience and knowledge transfer among participants. Thematic Workshops will specifically target the Discussion Groups.
A webinar is a live, interactive presentation on the web, providing an opportunity for Covenant stakeholders - including signatories, Covenant Supporter and Coordinators - to attend a lecture given by CoMO members or other experts on a specific Covenant-related topic.