Four Steps

To position cities as true climate leaders and to demonstrate that local action can have a significant global impact, the Global Covenant of Mayors’ participants engage in a four-phase process to fight climate change. 

While it may suit councils to embark on the four actions consecutively, it is not mandatory.



To participate in the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy a local government needs to Register its Commitment.

A Mayor (or other appropriate person) may register on the unified reporting platform or email a letter of intent to As part of their commitment, cities agree to undertake a series of key activities within a three year period from the date of their commitment. Following the commitment letter, council will be contacted by the regional support team and will receive an official “Commitment” badge to display on local digital or print materials.



Within two years, a city must assess the current impacts of climate change and develop community greenhouse inventory. The city must

  1. Develop a community-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory with a breakdown of emissions for stationary energy, waste and transport sectors,.

    Local governments shall report GHG emissions from at least three main sectors, namely stationary energy, transportation, and waste. Local governments should also report GHG emissions from Industrial Processes and Product Use (IPPU) and Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sectors where these are significant.

    Additionally, local governments may report GHG emissions from upstream activities, such as material extraction, or other out-of-boundary sources.

  2. Identify climate hazards and risks

    The local government shall identify the most significant climate hazards faced by the community. For each identified climate hazard, the local government shall report the Current risk level of the hazard, the Expected future impacts, the Expected intensity, frequency, and timescale of the hazard

    All relevant sectors, assets, or services that are expected to be most impacted by the hazard in future and the magnitude of the impact for each of them

  3. The details for the GHG inventory is contained within the GCoM Common Reporting Framework. The inventory is based on the GPC standard. Participants will report this via the ICLEI-CDP unified reporting platform. Additional tools and worksheets are available by contacting the GCoM Oceania support desk.



To meet the requirements a community target for greenhouse emissions is required.

All cities must register a city-wide target to reduce local GHG emissions within two years from commitment. Targets may be in any of the following formats (as defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Mitigation Goal Standard): Choose between

  • Base Year Reduction Targets

  • Intensity Reduction Targets

  • Baseline Scenario Reduction Targets

  • Fixed-level Reduction Targets

All targets must identify:

  • Baseline year (year from which progress will be measured) and emissions (or emissions intensity in the baseline year)

  • Target year (when the target will be achieved) and reduction to be achieved

  • Greenhouse gases and emission sources to which the target applies (using GHGs and sub-sectors defined in the GPC)

  • Ambition - at least as ambitious as the national NDC.

For information on targets and goals read the Mitigation Goal Standard. For the complete guidelines for the Global Covenant of Mayors refer to the Targets Guidelines below.



To be fully compliant a City needs to provide a Climate Energy Action Plan (mitigation) and a Climate Adaptation Plan within three years. This can be a combined document or separate documents which may have already been developed.

Climate Energy Action Plan

A climate energy action plan needs to be submitted within three years. A climate energy action plan shows how a city will deliver on its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. To be compliant, the Climate Energy Action Plan must have been completed or updated within five years of the reporting year and meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Political commitment (Action Plan accepted in council)

  • Vision describing city’s overall ambition and clear objectives

  • Context

  • Baseline GHG emissions

  • Business-as-usual GHG emissions forecast

  • GHG emissions reduction target(s)

  • Implementation plan (budget)

  • Monitoring plan

Climate Adaptation Plan

Cities must have a plan that considers climate change adaptation within three years of joining the Global Covenant of Mayors.

A plan that considers climate change adaptation will outline the intended alterations to the city’s systems in response to actual or anticipated climate change. It should cover the services and departments directly managed by the city government and may also consider the actions required by other stakeholders. The aim of such a plan is to moderate harm or exploit beneficial opportunities from expected climate change and its effects.

To be compliant, the adaptation plan must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Context

  • Vision describing city’s overall ambition and clear objectives

  • Risk or vulnerability summary

  • Engagement Stakeholder partnerships, Cross-departmental engagement, Community engagement

  • Actions to reduce the harm or exploit the benefits of expected climate change

  • Implementation plan, Monitoring plan and mechanism for review

  • Political Commitment (e.g. Adaptation Plan adopted by council)