Bielsko-Biała and Niepołomice were among 350 cities across Europe that have committed, by signing the Covenant of Mayors, to go beyond the EU's energy objective of reducing 20% CO2 emissions by 2020.






This prestigious, high visibility event took place on 10th February 2009 in the European Parliament’s Hemicycle in Brussels. European cities were welcomed by the President of the European Commission, José-Manuel Barroso, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Alejo Vidal Quadras, President of the Committee of the Regions, Luc Van den Brande, and Mayors of the cities of Madrid, Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, of Budapest, Gábor Demszky, and of Hamburg, Ole von Beust.

The Covenant of Mayors is the most ambitious European initiative bringing together the mayors of Europe’s pioneering cities who commit themselves to achieve and go beyond the European 3x20% energy and climate goals.

The Covenant signatory cities aim to reduce their CO2 emissions by more than 20% by 2020 via energy efficiency and renewable energy actions. The implementation of a sustainable energy action plan should help to deliver these objectives.

"Most of the energy produced in Europe is consumed in urban areas. The battle against climate change will have to fought and won in the cities. This is why, the commitment shown by Mayors across Europe by signing the Covenant of Mayors send us a strong message of hope, particularly in the difficult times that we are facing ", said Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.


Committee of the Regions President Luc Van den Brande, speaking at the signing ceremony, said: "The Covenant of Mayors is an excellent initiative which will continue to grow in partnership with the Committee of the Regions. Europe's ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gases will only be met when European local and regional authorities pull together and become involved as partners. The Covenant is not for big cities alone: smaller cities and towns, as well as regions as a whole, should also be encouraged to sign the Covenant and make the environmental pledge. The Committee of the Regions is also exploring the idea of creating a network for cities and regions signed up to the Covenant, helping them to share best practice ideas and experience."

By 10 February 2009, a total of 346 cities had formally signed up to the Covenant of Mayors. Of these, 210 city councils had signed up directly, while a further 60 had formally signed up supported by Diputació de Barcelona, and 76 had signed up supported by Diputación de Huelva. A further 104 cities had expressed an interest in signing.

The new website, offers news and pictures of the Covenant in action, as well as information on the cities involved.