Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy

Charter for the Second Phase

Core principles

United/Inspired/Guided by its Vision and Mission, the GCoM operates a leading global coalition of local and regional authorities with a shared long-term objective of promoting and supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and move to an inclusive low-carbon society, based on the following core principles:

Evolving, symbiotic role of climate action: The crisis/shock wave following COVID-19 pandemic hit cities hard, requiring a people-focused and inclusive climate and energy strategy centred on sustainable economic recovery, community involvement, equity, just transition, health and wellbeing.

Local Governments are Key Contributors: The Global Covenant of Mayors works to organize and mobilize local, regional and state governments to be active contributors to global climate neutrality by means of a green and clean solutions ranging from energy and transport to agriculture, finance and industries, the transition driven ultimately by behavioral change.

City Networks as Critical Partners: Local and global city networks are core partners, serving as the primary support for participating cities or regions with their citizens as the final beneficiaries.

European Commission and Bloomberg Philanthropies as supporters: The political and financial support of the co-funders underpins the Global Covenant in its work around the globe.

A Robust Solution Agenda:  Focusing on those sectors where cities have the greatest impact, the Global Covenant supports ambitious, locally relevant, people-oriented solutions, captured through strategic action plans that are registered, implemented and monitored and publicly available.

Participation of cities should be facilitated by flexible reporting requirements around greenhouse gas inventories and climate & energy plans, and simplified, regionally adapted planning and reporting requirements.

An integrated approach: One that responds to social, economic and inclusive community-led priorities should encompass technical effort focused specifically on carbon emissions and not vice versa.

Leveraging multipliers: GCoM’s direct interactions will be with regional coordinating entities, such as councils of governments and metropolitan planning organizations, rather than individual municipalities.

Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fostering Local Climate Resilience: The Global Covenant of Mayors emphasizes the importance of both climate mitigation and adaptation, as well as access to clean and affordable energy.


The Global Covenant of Mayors will bring together, under one single umbrella, “Regional/National Covenants” as its key elements that – subject to the overriding objectives mentioned above – are organized at the regional level according to organizational principles and methods that best suit each given region. Cities or regions may participate in the Global Covenant of Mayors either through a “Regional/National Covenant” or by directly engaging with the Global Covenant of Mayors Secretariat as long as no ”Regional/National Covenant” exists.

The Global Covenant seeks to assist these regions in achieving their objectives by:

  • providing technical guidance to the Regional Covenants, inter alia by sharing best practices;
  • supporting the establishment of and access to regionally relevant open and compatible data as well as reporting, aggregating and monitoring of results at the global level;
  • facilitate coherence amongst the Regional Covenants, ensuring the exchange of, and give visibility to best practices, promoting compatible methods and common objectives, and
  • serve as a common global voice and outreach, promoting the Global Covenant and it Regional Covenants at all levels.
  • Engaging and bringing the inputs of the Regional Covenants in the governance and working groups of the GCoM
  • Promoting a “people first” approach that seeks to address relevant local priorities that are aligned with and a gateway to strong local climate action

Through their participation in the Global Covenant of Mayors, and with the support of founding partners, cities or regions will:

  • promote their ambitious shared vision worldwide, being low-carbon or carbon-neutral, adapted to climate change, resilient for future changes, and providing universal access to clean and affordable energy;
  • consolidate the leading role for local and regional authorities in tackling climate change, based on consistent, transparent and, above all, locally adapted data collection and reporting with a connection to the United Nations and developing the institutional political processes that facilitate effective action;
  • apply transparent standardized procedures and methodologies as far as practicable to increase international accountability; and
  • promote systems and actions for universal access to clean and affordable energy consistent with a symbiotic, people-oriented carbon neutral vision.

Local authorities joining the Global Covenant of Mayors will:

  • commit to achieving or surpassing the relevant national commitment(s) regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation and access to clean and affordable energy, which are made, inter alia, in the context of the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, the Sustainable Development Goals or in regional strategies such as the European Green Deal.
  • promote multi-level governance and vertical integration of Action Plans to accelerate the implementation of Paris Agreement objectives
  • commit to adopting a comprehensive plan, to be reviewed and monitored, to meet the commitments made, and
  • agree to make key data publicly available to the Global Covenant via the reporting undertaken through the regional initiatives, which is needed to enable cities to compare their success with others worldwide and so that the Global Covenant can support its signatories and report on overall progress in achieving the aims of the Global Covenant.
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