HomeUncategorizedClimate initiative cities boost renewables’ use, but still largely depend on fossil...

Climate initiative cities boost renewables’ use, but still largely depend on fossil fuels

A JRC study looking at key energy metrics for nearly 7,000 reporting cities found that fossil fuels had the largest share of total basic consumption (about 70 percent), followed by electricity (about 70 percent). 23%), regional heating and cooling (up to 6%) and finally renewable fuels (up to 3%). Figures reported by cities show that residential buildings account for the highest share of consumption, followed by personal and commercial transport.

Regarding the basic local electricity production of the EU-27 signatories, photovoltaic has the highest share (up to 60%), followed by hydropower (up to 25%), wind and thermal energy. and combined power (CHP). In contrast, for non-EU-27 parties, the highest share of local electricity generation is related to CHP (up to 55%), hydro and geothermal energy.

study Mayor’s Covenant 2022 Energy Figures analyze and compare energy data and actions taken by each individual reporting city, including energy consumption and energy supply, as well as energy savings and energy production estimates in 2020 and 2030 in different sectors.

Renewable energy production is estimated by the EU-27 signatories to be 0.65 and 1.05 MWh/year per capita for the 2020 and 2030 commitments, respectively. The figures are reported by the non-EU-27 cities are lower, with estimates of 0.18 and 0.24 MWh/year per capita for 2020 and 2030 commitments, respectively.

The data shows that the transition to a greener energy system takes more time and additional effort to achieve the EU climate targets.

Different cities have joined the Mayor’s Covenant in different stages since its launch in 2008 and have developed plans to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at different points in time. to the then EU climate target. As of 2021, these targets are updated and set to achieve net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of at least 55% by 2030 and climate neutral by 2050.

According to the evidence gathered in this report, a third of all EU-27 signatories with their 2020 commitments (36% of 548 signatories) have already outperformed their original savings target. their head, although this is lower for the EU-27 signatories with their 2030 commitments, of which only about a fifth (18% of 307) outperformed their original target .

For non-EU-27 signatories – note that the sample contains few examples – the performance of those with 2020 commitments shows more encouraging figures, with more than half (58% of the 38 contracting parties) exceeds their initial savings target. On the other hand, it may be because their overall ambition is much lower that almost all non-EU-27 signatories with commitments to 2030 (95% of the 19 signatories) outperformed them. their original goal.

Cities taking action for the climate

Mayors’ Global Convention on Climate and Energy (GCoM) originated from an initiative launched by the European Commission in 2008. Since then, the JRC has provided scientific, methodical and technical support, assisting cities to sign the standard. Prepare and implement climate and energy action plans, and contribute to the definition and regular updates of the reporting framework.

Today, the GCoM initiative brings together more than 11,000 cities that work around three pillars: climate mitigation, climate adaptation, energy access and poverty.

The study analyzes the GCoM signatories with commitments in 2020 or 2030, i.e. 6677 total. For the EU-27 bloc, about 80% of these are mainly Italian, Spanish and Italian cities and Belgium. In the rest of Europe, 67% of the 193 signatories to the 2020 pledge are mainly in Ukraine, the United Kingdom and Bosnia and Herzegovina; while about 90% of the 140 cities with commitments to 2030 are mainly from Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Moldova.

Energy saving

The findings show that the total energy savings achieved by the EU-27 signatories with their 2020 commitments is 117 TWh/year (equivalent to half of Greece’s total primary energy consumption in 2021. ) and 27 TWh/year for the 2030 commitment (equivalent to total Cyprus primary energy consumption in 2021). The highest annual savings rate for 2020 commitments was reported by Dortmund (Germany) for the period 1990-2008, at 1.45 TWh/year. Mariupol (Ukraine), Budapest (Hungary) and Marbella (Spain) track different reporting periods with savings rates of 0.95, 0.85 and 0.72 TWh/year, respectively.

For the 2030 target period, Dublin (Ireland) leads the rest, with an absolute savings of 6.11 TWh/year from 2006 to 2016, indicating an annual savings rate of 0.6 TWh/year.

Other European signatories, outside the EU-27, with a good track record of 2020 commitments are the Ukrainian cities of Vinnytsia and Mariupol (the latter of which fell to Russia in May 2022) and Cardiff of the United Kingdom. Referring to the period from 2010 to 2018, Vinnytsia’s absolute savings of 3.67 TWh/year shows an annual savings rate of 0.46 TWh/year; while Mariupol, over the slightly longer period (2010-2020), recorded higher numbers: 9.5 TWh/year in absolute savings, which corresponds to an annual savings rate of 0.95 TWh. /year.

Cardiff’s absolute savings of 2.36 TWh/year between 2005 and 2015 translates to an annual savings rate of 0.24 TWh/year and while Gradiška, Tuzla and Lukavac in Bosnia and Herzegovina stand out in terms of their savings towards their 2030 commitments.

From 2005 to 2017, Gradiška achieved an annual savings rate of 0.02 TWh/year. Tuzla’s efforts for the period 2002-2020 indicate an annual savings rate of 0.01 TWh/year. During the reporting period 2010-2020, Lukavac recorded an annual savings rate of 0.01 TWh/year.

What makes these cities perform better than others? A few examples

Dublin’s success is due to the transformation of the transport industry: emissions reductions reached 41% in 2016, compared with 2010 levels. This was achieved by encouraging the use of electric vehicles. efficiency (almost all new cars registered during the aforementioned period achieve efficiency class A) as well as by making cycling safer and more enjoyable – more vehicle lanes more cycling leads to a threefold increase in bicycle use).

During the same period, the Irish capital also turned its attention to the building sector, which accounts for around 65% of total energy consumption, according to the action plan. Interventions focus on smart and energy efficient use of energy in homes, new lighting systems and retrofit opportunities. The results show an overall reduction of about 2 TWh/year, which corresponds to a 34% reduction in energy use and a 37% reduction in carbon emissions.

Mariupol, a signatory since 2013, was doing very well until the Russian invasion. The figures, updated through the end of 2020, show a 16% reduction in emissions compared to 2010. The heart of this achievement is innovation in city public transport, a top priority. of the city when the industry serves 35% of the annual passenger volume of 140 million passengers.

With the support of international financial institutions, Mariupol has introduced 72 modern, low-floor, energy-efficient and eco-friendly trolleys, replacing depleted vehicles and increasing service levels. . In addition, the city modernizes and strengthens the electric bus infrastructure with the introduction of electric substations and cable networks. These are just some of the measures that have allowed Mariupol to surpass its initial estimate of EUR 1.35 million in money savings per year, a reduction in energy consumption of 2,704 MWh/year and a reduction in emissions of 1,369 tonnes of CO2.


The Mayor Covenant is an initiative that brings together local governments committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to complement national strategies to increase resilience to climate change and reduce poverty. energy.

The strategies and actions they intend to take to achieve their goals are guided by the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs), for which the JRC provides a relevant guidebook. appropriate to the environmental, socio-economic and political circumstances of the region. The JRC also analyzes data reported by signatories to determine their progress.

related content

Mayor’s Covenant 2022 Energy Figures

The Mayor’s Global Convention on Climate and Energy


latest articles

explore more