2024 is a pivotal year for us all
This year, European elections will take place and with that a new Commission will be established. The European Green Deal will officially be rooted into European law, with the recent adoption of the remaining components of the ‘Fit for 55’ Package.
Meanwhile, in 2023, we witnessed an undeniable escalation of climate change-related hazards, with an increasing number of communities and homes bearing the relentless brunt of its consequences.
The convergence of these critical moments tells us one thing: the time for implementation is NOW. In Europe, we need to shift focus from policy debates around the Green Deal to concretely acting and making it a reality on the ground.
We all know that for this, cities and regions are key players. Which means that for the Covenant of Mayors community, 2024 is the year to fully assert mayors’ protagonist role in Europe’s climate agenda.
2024 also marks 15 years since the first official EU Covenant of Mayors ceremony, which took place on February 10th, 2009.
This is a good time to take a pause and reflect on the past years, but most importantly on what is to come. The landscape since the 2009 launch of the Covenant of Mayors has changed greatly, and our initiative has adapted to shifting priorities, as well as the growing urgency.
This year, we will be entering a new era for the Covenant of Mayors, in which:
- Implementation of the European Green Deal will become a central focus;
- Efforts on adaptation will be reinforced to better prepare for escalating hazards;
- Reporting on energy poverty will become mandatory for all;
- Fossil fuel phase-out will take centre stage in mitigation efforts, starting with a specific focus on heat decarbonisation at local level.
Essentially, the Covenant of Mayors initiative will be here to make sure that cities and towns are “fit for 55”, committed to the EU’s 2030 and 2040 targets, and eventually on the path to climate neutrality by 2050. In this capacity, the initiative will continue to empower cities and towns of all sizes to take action.
One of our main goals this year is to bring as much visibility to our community as possible, putting mayors and regional leaders in the spotlight for Europe to hear them speak!
Opportunities under the Belgian Presidency
To start off strong, the Belgian Presidency of the European Council (from January to June 2024) is presenting us with unique opportunities to hand the microphone to local and regional leaders, to shed light on their primordial role in the fight against climate change.
Two committed Covenant coordinators, the Walloon and Flemish governments, are organising big, strategic events under the Presidency – each producing its post-2024 recommendations – spotlighting local and regional actions for the European Green Deal.
- February 8th-9th, 2024: Climate Chance Europe 2024 Wallonia Summit on Adaptation in Liège, organised by the Walloon government
- March 15th, 2024: “Translating the Green Deal into local action”, Conference for local and regional leaders in the European Parliament in Brussels, organised by the Flemish government
Join us in Liège in February and/or be one of the 550 Mayors convening on March 15th, showcasing to the next European Commission how Mayors are walking the talk and getting things done!
This is not just any year: let’s make 2024 the mayors’ year! And fully embrace the opportunities ahead, together.
Join the 15-Year Campaign! Check out what fellow members of the CoM-munity have to say about the Covenant of Mayors and its positive impact on their territories, from the national to the regional and local levels. You want to share your story? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Publication date
- 19 January 2024