500 European Cities Pledge 20 Percent CO2 Cut

BRUSSELS, Belgium — More than 500 European mayors committed yesterday to cut carbon dioxide emissions by more than 20 percent by 2020.

The pledge was made at the second of what are now annual meetings of mayors from across the continent.

By signing the Covenant of Mayors, they pledge to save energy, foster renewable energy and raise awareness among their citizens.

They signed the declaration in the presence of E.U. Commission President José Manuel Barroso and José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, prime minister of Spain.

The Covenant of Mayors is a Commission initiative, supported both by the European Parliament and the Committee of the Regions.

Commissioner responsible for energy, Günther Oettinger, said, "Regions and cities are demonstrating that climate mitigation is one of the best economic recovery strategies.

"Investment into the reduction of CO2 emissions and energy efficiency creates jobs which by their nature cannot be delocalised."

The Covenant of Mayors is an annual conference that has been initiated by the European Commission in 2009.

With more than 500 mayors signing the declaration this year, the number of signatories will raise to more than 1,600 in 36 countries representing 120 million citizens.

This article originally appeared at Edie News.

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