What is the global covenant of mayors for climate and energy?
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM) is an international alliance of cities and local governments with a shared commitment of mayors and local governments to accelerate ambitious, measurable climate and energy initiatives that lead to a low-emission and climate resilient future, helping to meet and exceed the Paris Agreement objectives.
The GCoM serves cities and local governments of all sizes in all parts of the world, by mobilising and supporting ambitious, measurable, planned climate and energy action in their communities by working with city/regional networks, national governments and other partners..
The core principles of the Global Covenant of Mayors include:
Local Governments are key: The Global Covenant of Mayors mobilises cities and local governments to be active contributors to a global climate solution.
City Networks: City networks at all scales are core partners, serving as the primary support for participating cities and local governments.
A Robust Solution Agenda: Focusing on sectors on which cities and local governments have the greatest impact, the Global Covenant of Mayors supports locally relevant solutions, captured through publicly available strategic action plans.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Local Climate Resilience: The Global Covenant of Mayors emphasises the importance of climate change mitigation (also referred to as low emission development) and adaptation to a changing climate, as well as increased access to sustainable energy.
The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy formally brings together the Covenant of Mayors and the Compact of Mayors, the world’s two primary initiatives of cities and local governments to advance their transition to a low emission and climate resilient economy, and to demonstrate their global impact. It incorporates, under a single umbrella, the commitments of individual cities and local governments originally put forth either through the Compact of Mayors, pre-existing Regional/National Covenants, and now newly developing Regional/National Covenants operating under the shared vision of the GCoM and principles and methods that best suit each region.
Common Reporting Framework
To ensure robust climate action planning, action and monitoring, as well as streamlined measurement and reporting of emissions, a set of new recommendations have been developed in consultation with partners, cities and local governments globally, The new framework is intended to be flexible to meet specific local or regional needs. A common reporting language will ensure consistency, some levels of comparison and amalgamation between city data, which can be used to inform policy decisions.
The reporting process has also now been unified. Where cities reporting was undertaken through both the carbonn Climate registry and CDP, these tow approach have been unified under an enhanced reporting platform operated by CDP.
The Paris Agreement
The Paris Agreement’s long-term goal is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and limit the increase to 1.5 °C. Action from all sectors is needed, including a response at the local government level. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) is a global initiative to which local councils can sign up to demonstrate their commitment to emissions reduction activities in their local region.
In Australia a National Consultation initiative is underway which is funded through the European Commission. This is part of a wider initiative Support Project for the Implementation of the Paris Agreement. While Australia has signed the Paris Agreement there is currently no common, transparent and comparable mechanism for local councils and communities to track their contributions to the goals of the Paris Agreement. There is neither an encompassing pan-Australian framework to link these initiatives to the international climate action framework or a way to compile and measure what the common effort from Australian local government can contribute. This is what the National Consultation aims to address.