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Covenant of Mayors - Europe
News article2 February 2023

Cities’ response to the energy crisis will be at the center of this year's Covenant of Mayors Europe Conference

Join us in Brussels on 30 March for the 2023 Covenant of Mayors - Europe Conference, "Cities on the frontline of the Energy Crisis", where we will discuss how local response to the energy crisis is paving the way for Europe’s energy transition. 

The Covenant of Mayors Conference 2023

This year’s Covenant of Mayors – Europe high-level political conference in Brussels will focus on the local response to the energy crisis, discussing how it has shown (once again) that cities are frontrunners of Europe’s energy transition, and how these efforts can become long-term strategies to redefine lifestyles in the face of climate change. 

When there is a crisis, local governments always find themselves on the frontline. It was the case with the COVID-19 crisis, the refugee crisis, and it’s now the case with the ongoing energy crisis. It’s no surprise then, that cities have shown their competence in responding to such a crisis. They swiftly put into place immediate low-cost actions to reduce energy demand in public facilities, all the while increasing the share of renewables, as well as supporting the most vulnerable households and local businesses.   

This is why, last year, the Covenant of Mayors Europe initiative, along with the European Commission and the Committee of the Regions, launched the Cities Energy Saving Sprint. In solidarity with the Ukrainian people, the campaign has been designed to strengthen and connect local efforts to reduce energy consumption and dependency on Russian gas across Europe.   

This is not the first time that cities have emerged as frontrunners in energy and climate action. Widespread commitment to the Covenant of Mayors over the past 15 years has demonstrated that municipalities are a driving force in Europe’s ambitious path towards climate neutrality by 2050. Now, the Cities Energy Saving Sprint has shown us that cities know how to reconcile energy and climate measures that will tackle the energy crisis in the short-term while continuing to fight the climate crisis in the long-term.  

Because the two crises – energy and climate – are deeply intertwined. Efforts to fill up Europe’s gas storage reserves in 2022 have been largely successful. However, forecasts for upcoming winter seasons are unclear. Hence, these short-term measures will have to be embedded into mid and long-term action, redefining the way we live faced with the bigger, looming crisis in the distance.  

How can Europe capitalise on cities’ response to the crisis in its ongoing efforts towards climate neutrality? How can they further support this local action in the mid to long-term to redefine lifestyles in the face of climate change?   

This will be the focus of the Covenant of Mayors – Europe’s 2023 Conference. Happening in Brussels on 30 March 2023, Mayors and representatives of local and regional governments from across Europe will come to showcase and discuss these topics with key representatives of the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU Committee of the regions, including Vice-President, Frans Timmermans, and Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson.  

Beyond the usual exchange between EU and local governments, this year’s Conference wants to push the discussion further by bringing in a wider variety of voices. Transforming short-term measures into long-term change is only possible when parties from all levels are engaged, starting with citizens. Youth representatives of the Climate Pact will thus join the discussion, to talk about how the next generation can consolidate these efforts to make them part of Europe’s future. Bringing yet another dimension, exemplary leaders driving coordinated climate action on regional levels will also take part to discuss how different levels of government can work with and support cities in their efforts. 

You can find more information about the event here and register here.


Publication date
2 February 2023