Mr. Zacharias Doxastakis, Mayor of Hersonissos Municipality, signed on the 18th April 2011 the Covenant of Mayors adhesion form following a unanimous resolution and authorization from the Municipal Board Council. The Covenant of Mayors is an ambitious incentive by the European Commission that was established in order to mediate the climatic changes effects, through the implementation of local sustainable energy policies (www.eumayors.eu).
The Covenant of Mayors is aiming at introducing and promoting sustainable policies in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions at least by 20% until 2020 in European cities – members of the Covenant. The member cities have the responsibility to:
Submit within a year a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP)
Submit biennial reports following the SEAP submission
Organise Energy Days in cooperation with the European Commission and other interested organisations
Inform local media in relation to any SEAP developments
Participate and contribute to the annual Covenant of Mayors Meeting
The Covenant of Mayors counts already 2602 European city or region members representing 126 384 036 European citizens. These figures modify on a daily basis as more and more organisations are willing to commit in energy consumption reduction.
Within a year of the Hersonissos Municipal Board resolution authorisation, the Municipality has to submit the SEAP, which will describe all the necessary steps and actions to be taken in order to achieve the 20% reduction in energy reduction. All the actions will be reported biennially to the European Commission for evaluation.
The Municipality will further cooperate with Universities, Technological Institutes, Environmental Associations, Non-Governmental Organisations, energy producing companies, Municipal Enterprises with high energy consumption rates, third-sector private companies, transportation enterprises and outermost citizens, whose sensitization and attitude change towards adoption of good practices is essential pre-requisite in the achieving sustainable energy conscience. The SEAP is expected to include actions for urban planning and land use.
This whole process as described above will be indicative for the European Commission in order to communicate directives for the methodology in energy consumption and certification of best practices (e.g. Energy Certificates) for public buildings and the creation of financial tools in the energy sector.