City Journey

20200921_GCoM_Central-Journey

Join 10,000+ cities taking climate action

Make a commitment

Any city or town in the world can commit to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy (GCoM), regardless of size or location. The first step in a city’s journey is submitting a signed commitment letter from an appropriate local official. When a mayor or local government official registers their city’s commitment to GCoM, they pledge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance resilience to climate change, and track their progress transparently.

A powerful and historic movement

When cities engage in the Global Covenant of Mayors, they demonstrate their leadership, setting an example for cities all over the world to become part of the global solution to climate change. Cities that join the GCoM pledge to develop a greenhouse gas emissions inventory and assessment of climate risks, and set measurable emissions targets, ambitious climate adaptation goals, and sustainable energy access goals in line with the Paris Agreement. Signatories agree to formally adopt plans and targets with three years of making a commitment.

Leading by example

By committing to the Global Covenant of Mayors, cities and local governments increase their visibility as leaders responding to climate change and demonstrate their commitment to an ambitious global climate solution. GCoM helps cities in achieving their ambition by supporting the collaboration and sharing of best practices among peers around the world, providing, technical and financial capacity-building and training activities, and generating the next generation of knowledge, data, tools needed for local policymakers to tackle sustainability and climate challenges.

With support from local and global partners

Joining the Global Covenant of Mayors engages cities in a far-reaching global alliance supported by 100+ partners. A commitment demonstrates to the world that your city is joining among a distinguished group of leaders with an alliance to support you with training, tools, and resources, while also promoting climate leadership through communications campaigns and city profiles.

How to join us

We welcome any city or town in the world to commit to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, regardless of size or location. Cities or local governments that want to formalize a commitment to GCoM should submit a commitment document, which must be signed by an appropriately mandated official according to local governmental procedures.

  1. Download the commitment letter template of your country
  2. Sign the letter
  3. Send the letter to your regional covenant
  4. Communicate and start planning

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF)

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF) guides cities in assessing their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks, and vulnerabilities, as well as planning and reporting in an integrated and coherent way. This standard not only enables cities to identify and take the right actions in a timely manner, but also allows for better identification of shared challenges, greater cooperation, and development of common responses to the impacts of climate change.

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Understand the city’s climate situation

Assess Impacts and Risks

After committing to the Global Covenant of Mayors, a city must take stock of the current emissions and impacts of climate change in the city. Understanding and quantifying the sources of emissions is essential to identifying and informing strategies to reduce emissions – creating a foundation for effective action. Planning for climate action begins with developing a greenhouse gas inventory.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory

An inventory enables cities to understand the emissions sources and effects of different activities in the community. It allows cities to determine where to best direct mitigation efforts, create a strategy to reduce emissions, and track their progress. The Global Covenant allows flexibility for cities developing city-wide greenhouse gas inventories, within two years of commitment. The inventory must include at least carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide emissions from stationary energy, transportation, and waste sources.

Risk and Vulnerability Assessment

Cities are also required to complete a risk and vulnerability assessment to identify current and future climate hazards that the city may face from the impacts of climate change. These assessment processes aim to analyze a city’s current ability to adjust or respond to climate change while also providing a city with information about how future change will affect it.

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF)

In order for cities’ greenhouse gas emissions data to be consistent and transparent GCoM introduced the Common Reporting Framework (CRF) in 2018 as the first global reporting framework for standardizing and sharing information on local climate activities. The CRF guides cities in assessing their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks, and vulnerabilities, as well as planning and reporting in an integrated and coherent way. This standard not only enables cities to identify and take the right actions in a timely manner, but also allows for better identification of shared challenges, greater cooperation, and development of common responses to the impacts of climate change.

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Quantify the city’s commitment

Set Goals and Targets

Once a city measures its greenhouse gas emissions, it can then begin to manage them. The third step for Global Covenant of Mayors signatories requires cities to set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a goal for increased resilience. Cities joining GCoM pledge to set targets at least as ambitious as their country’s Nationally Determined Contributions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Designing credible, achievable targets

A greenhouse gas reduction target is a quantitative commitment to reduce or limit the increase of greenhouse gas emissions by a specified future date. This process involves a city determining the target’s format, time frame, and reduction amount in a manner that can be evaluated in comparison against a baseline emissions level and year. Cities’ goals should be ambitious, yet realistically achievable given a government’s resources and local context.

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF)

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF) guides cities in assessing their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks, and vulnerabilities, as well as planning and reporting in an integrated and coherent way. This standard not only enables cities to identify and take the right actions in a timely manner, but also allows for better identification of shared challenges, greater cooperation, and development of common responses to the impacts of climate change.

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Create the city’s plan for climate action

Develop Actions and Adaptation Strategy

Once a city sets evidence-based goals and targets, cities create an action plan to address climate mitigation and adaptation. These plans indicate what actions a city will take to achieve its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target and climate change adaptation goals.

Planning for a climate-safe future

Climate action planning ensures successful and responsible climate change mitigation and adaptation in alignment with the community’s needs. A city’s plan will set out how it specifically plans to implement climate mitigation, adaptation, and access to sustainable energy strategies to meet their targets, as well as specific priority actions, a financial plan, and a timeline. The planning process provides a holistic, systematic guide that coordinates the diverse sectors of the city to achieve mitigation, adaptation, and other long term development goals.

Plans should be evidence-based, ambitious, inclusive, and actionable. The planning process should also engage all stakeholders who may be involved in the design and implementation of climate action. Ambitious plans can elevate a city’s leadership to provide greater access to financing for implementing low-carbon and climate-resilient city projects.

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF)

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF) guides cities in assessing their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks, and vulnerabilities, as well as planning and reporting in an integrated and coherent way. This standard not only enables cities to identify and take the right actions in a timely manner, but also allows for better identification of shared challenges, greater cooperation, and development of common responses to the impacts of climate change.

Supporting resources

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book.

It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Transform the city’s plan from paper to project

Implement

Once a city submits a climate action plan, it begins advancing concrete projects from an idea on paper to reality. Cities should begin implementation of their mitigation and adaptation strategies based on their climate mitigation and adaptation plans’ priority actions, finances, and timeline.

Execute your planned actions

Once a city’s climate action plan has been developed, the focus turns to executing those recommendations and actions in order to tangibly mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Precise and impactful actions and projects can be pursued to progress towards the broader strategic objectives of the climate action plan – including the city’s mitigation targets and adaptation goals.

For each planned project, the city can begin to:

  1. Research and identify preliminary project concepts, including their risks, and potential budgetary streams within the city
  2. Finalize specific project concepts via detailed analyses and assessments of risks, impacts, and costs
  3. Establish project feasibility, appropriateness, and sustainability
  4. Ensure that the project is sufficiently structured and prepared for implementation, meeting potential funder requirements and other relevant standards
  5. Identify, sign-on, and activate capital funders through application and meeting specified requirements

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Understand the city’s climate progress

Monitor and Report

Once a city begins implementing a climate action plan, Global Covenant of Mayors cities report on their progress every two years. Monitoring and reporting tell the story of a city’s climate actions, emissions reductions, and the current and future climate hazards that a city faces.

Standard and consistent data from GCoM cities also help assess the collective impact of the GCoM alliance and drive innovation and investment for local implementation.

Public, transparent and consistent data

Global Covenant of Mayors cities and local governments regularly report through two officially recognized reporting platforms aligned with the GCoM Common Reporting Framework – CDP/ICLEI’s Unified Reporting System and the European Covenant of Mayors “MyCovenant” platform. Key city-data reported through GCoM is consolidated and made publicly available through this website and shared with the UN’s Global Climate Action (NAZCA) platform.

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF)

The Common Reporting Framework (CRF) guides cities in assessing their greenhouse gas emissions, climate change risks, and vulnerabilities, as well as planning and reporting in an integrated and coherent way. This standard not only enables cities to identify and take the right actions in a timely manner, but also allows for better identification of shared challenges, greater cooperation, and development of common responses to the impacts of climate change.

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Recognize the city’s climate progress

Validate

As each city implements and reports on its climate commitments, the Global Covenant of Mayors recognizes signatory progress by issuing badges shared with the global community on our website.

Badge System

Once a city has reported on a specific step in the city journey – from commitment to planning, to implementation and monitoring – their efforts are validated according to the requirements of the Common Reporting Framework, and if eligible, badges are awarded. Badges are earned through the reporting platforms and awarded via your city’s relevant GCoM Regional/National Covenant. Capturing a signatory’s progress across the climate action planning journey, badges are organized around the key pillars of GCoM reporting: mitigation, adaptation, and energy access/poverty (under development).

The badge system provides a high-level overview of the engagement of a city within GCoM and can also be used by signatories as a communication and promotion tool.

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Review the city’s climate plan

Update Climate Actions and Adaptation Strategy

As GCoM signatories implement their climate action plans, track progress, and report outcomes, they should regularly update plans with evidence-driven policy and action recommendations – relying on tracked project data, the latest climate science insights, community needs, financing opportunities, and technological advancements.

Strategic climate action planning that actively responds to existing project impacts, community needs, and cross-cutting data is critical to helping cities transform their climate ambition into action – and accelerate global progress towards securing a climate-safe future.

Responsive and data-driven climate action plans

By tracking and evaluating climate action progress through insightful data collected across projects, departments, and the broader community, cities can be equipped with the crucial evidence needed to make incisive policy responses and recommendations – in part through refinements to their existing climate action plans.

These refinements may also present significant opportunities for communicating the city’s progress towards its climate objectives, as well as the cross-cutting co-benefits of its action to-date – helping bring together an ever-stronger coalition of local partners to capitalize on its momentum.

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