Twenty Belarusian cities have become new members of the EU-funded initiative “Covenant of Mayors East”. The official ceremony of the signature of the agreement took place at the regional conference “Covenant of Mayors: joint actions in the field of climate and energy” on 13 December in Minsk, Belarus.
The two-day regional conference for municipalities of the Eastern Partnership Countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine – was organised by the EU-funded “Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects” programme and “Covenant of Mayors East” initiative. The event gathered EU project leaders, representatives of local authorities, as well as signatory cities of the Covenant of Mayors East.
Vassilis Maragos, Head of the Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus and Eastern Partnership Unit of the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) of the European Commission, underlined the significant progress achieved by the signatory cities of the Covenant of Mayors East in the field of energy efficiency and provided assurance that the EU would continue to support this initiative.
Participants discussed the results and achievements of cities and villages that are part of the EU-supported Covenant of Mayors East initiative, as well as new funding opportunities for energy efficiency projects in the framework of several work panels.
The Covenant of Mayors East is a flagship EU initiative to reduce CO2 emissions by at least 20% by 2020. It helps municipalities to prepare and implement Sustainable Energy Action Plans, reducing dependency on fossil fuels, improving the security of energy supply, and allowing them to contribute more actively to climate change mitigation.
Covenant of Mayors – Demonstration Projects (CoM-DeP) is a European Union programme in the Eastern Partner countries which supports small towns that have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors initiative to implement energy efficiency projects identified within their Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAPs), with grants as well as technical assistance. The support team of the CoM-DeP provides grants to 19 selected projects, as well as technical, procedural and communication assistance.