On September 26th, the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities (ELVL), jointly with the Covenant of Mayors Europe, organised a seminar for local authorities in Rakvere to share best practices and opportunities to reach the Covenant of Mayors's targets.
“Managing change at the local level is crucial to implement sustainable energy and climate policies. We can slow down climate change if local authorities and citizens contribute to it, "said Jan Trei, Deputy Director of the Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities." "The role of the Association as a supporter of the Covenant of Mayors is to spread information and raise awareness among local authorities and to contribute to the European Climate Plan 2050 to be carbon neutral."
As a supporter of the Covenant, the Association's role is to promote the Covenant of Mayors initiative, to support and advise signatories and to work with other Covenant supporters. There are currently many supporters of the Covenant of Mayors, including local government organisations in Finland, Latvia and Lithuania.
“Rakvere was among the first signatories of this European initiative and it is certainly not just a signature on paper for us. Energy-saving-thinking is a common practice in this city, it is reflected in every kindergarten, schoolhouse but also in our renovated and colourful apartment buildings, "said Mihkel Juhkami, Chairman of the Covenant signatory Rakvere City Council and Ambassador of the European Covenant of Mayors of the Committee of the Regions.
Thanks to this international seminar, many Estonian municipalities recognized similarities in their plans and see the Covenant of Mayors as a good way to set their goals even higher. Additionally, the Estonian Ministry of Environment now sees that regional climate and energy plans need to be supported, and committed to cooperate in finding ways to do so.
You can see a video of the ceremony here