Brussels, Belgium; on 30th June the Commission adopted a decision establishing a template for National Renewable Energy Action Plans (NREAPs) as required by the recent Renewable Energy Directive. The template will guide Member States through the elaboration of their Renewable Energy Action Plan where they will have have to describe in detail their strategies for reaching the 2020 renewable energy targets. Each Member State must submit a NREAP to the Commission by 30 June 2010 the latest.
Article 24 of the new Directive on renewable energy requires the Commission to establish a platform for the publication of a range of documents about renewable energy.
- the Commission's template for the national renewable energy action plans
- the national action plans themselves (due by 30 June 2010)
- Member States' forecasts of expected transfers of shares of renewable energy (import needs and export availability) as statistical transfers or joint projects (due by December 2009)
- Member States offers and requests for statistical transfers/joint projects and the details of those exchanges that occur
- Member States' progress reports (first due by December 2011)
- The Commission's progress reports (first due by December 2012).
As each of these documents is produced, it will appear on the official website of the European Commission.
The Covenant of Mayors has gone from strength to strength since the initiative was launched in early 2008. To date almost 550 towns and cities across Europe, and further afield, have made the formal commitment to go beyond the EUs 20% CO2 reduction objectives. Local and urban authorities are key to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. At present urban areas are responsible for 80% of CO2 emissions and energy consumption, with the growth rate of 1.9% of energy use in cities (versus 1.6% globally). Therefore, it is only through decisive action at the local level that the challenge of climate mitigation can be overcome.
All of the Covenant's signatory cities have pledged to draft and implement their own Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP), which will outline their strategy, their proposed investments and the necessary actions they will take. All SEAPs will be followed by monitoring reports, and Signatories have accepted their involvement will be terminated if they fail to comply.
Mayors signing the Covenant of Mayors at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium, 10th February, 2009
While drafting SEAPs, participating cities benefit from the support and guidance of both the Covenant of Mayors Office (COMO) and the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC). At present these two bodies are drafting a set of guidelines to aid Signatory Cities with their SEAPs.
The Covenant also benefits from the input of Supporting Structures. Divided into two distinct groups, Supporting Structures can be either public bodies, such as counties, provinces and regions, or associations and networks of local and regional authorities. Their specific role is to provide co-ordination, support and technical assistance especially to smaller cities.
So far 15 Supporting Structures have signed up to promote the Covenant and lend essential technical and financial assistance to Signatory Cities, which will assist them with the drafting and implementation of their sustainable energy action plan.
The rapid growth of the Covenant, and the resulting increase in interest, has prompted the organisation of a number of key upcoming events. These gatherings are not only an opportunity to increase the public exposure of the initiative, but are also a chance for participating cities to interact.
Further details about the Covenant of Mayors and other events are available on the Covenant of Mayors website, www.eumayors.eu and in the Covenant newsletter, "Communication" (Issue 1 - June 2009).
The Second Thematic Workshop of the Covenant of Mayors will take place in Brussels on 6 October 2009.
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