San José, Costa Rica, August 29. The European Union, the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) and the Municipal Development Institute (IFAM) expressed their support for the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) in Latin America and the Caribbean, at the workshop that began on Tuesday for national coordinators in San José, which will end on Friday.

  •  54% of the world's population resides in cities that account for 70% of global energy-related emissions.
  • Andrea Meza, of the Climate Change Directorate, pointed out that Costa Rica’s entry into the Paris Agreement marks a milestone and what follows is to establish its rules for implementation.

“This Global Covenant of Mayors is an example of added value and of what characterises European cooperation. Bringing diverse experiences without dictating lessons, connecting experts and sharing knowledge. Articulating networks at hand, not only of the governments, but in this case of the local powers and the experts who are building a bridge between the European Union and the Latin American countries”, stated the Ambassador and Head of the European Union Delegation in Costa Rica, Pelayo Castro Zuzuarregui.

In addition, he noted that “the Global Covenant of Mayors is the largest coalition in the world for combatting climate change. It comprises thousands of cities on 6 continents in more than 120 countries.” By 2020, the Covenant's cities will have collectively reduced their CO2 emissions by 27%, increasing their energy efficiency by 20% and raising their local energy production by 90%.

By 2030, the Global Covenant cities could collectively reduce their CO2 emissions per year by more than one billion tons, which is equivalent to taking 276 million fossil fuel using cars off the road.

On the national public sector side, MINAE's Director General of Climate Change Andrea Meza pointed out that Costa Rica is establishing the rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement to move forward: “Inclusive multilateralism is very important, we must call upon citizens, governments, and municipalities to work together in achieving the objective. Ambition and transparency should serve as key mechanisms in achieving this mission,” she said.

IFAM presidency adviser Mario Céspedes said that “it is from the local that the national is achieved. The main objective of this workshop is to define, based on collective reflection, common pathways among the different participating sectors in order to move the needle and make progress toward the goal”.

The GCoM, under the umbrella of the International Urban Cooperation Programme (IUC) funded by the European Union, seeks to establish itself in several parts of the world, including Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). The workshop is also organised with the collaboration of EUROCLIMA+, a flagship programme of the European Union that will oversee the putting into practice of a training module during the workshop. The objective is to contribute to the strengthening of the climate policy governance framework and the integration of vertical coordination as a key issue for the implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC).

During the workday, Silvia Rivas-Calvete, scientist of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC), trained municipal technicians on the methodologies for preparing the reports and the Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAP) in the three-year term the municipalities that subscribe to the GCoM will have. Any city in the world with a democratically elected government, no matter its size or location, can voluntarily join the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy.

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