What is a SECAP?

The Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan concept has been developed by the Covenant of Mayors. It is designed to give a detailed overview on the energy situation and GHG emissions of a municipality and defines quantifiable actions to reduce emissions, identify energy efficiency measures and adopt renewable energy targets. It also offers actions to adapt to climate change taking into account the risks that are relevant to the area such as floods or heat waves. Another goal is taking action to alleviate energy poverty.


In Europe, more than 11,000 local and regional authorities from 57 countries have joined the initiative. It is relevant for all municipalities that:

  • are committed to mitigating climate change and increasing energy efficiency;
  • want to help meet the targets set out in the European Union's 2020 energy strategy;
  • would like to assess their current energy situation and the structure of energy consumption;
  • are looking for new funding sources to implement climate actions such as new renewable energy projects;
  • or want to renew their commitment / update their SEAPs.


Fight against climate change locally

During the design and implementation phases, SECAP helps raise public awareness about the climate emergency and energy efficiency. It represents an active communication opportunity between residents and local governments while contributing to the achievement of greenhouse gas reduction targets through decreasing energy consumption and growth of the production and use of renewable energy.

Act now and take advantage!

As previously noted, more than 11 000 of Europe’s 80 000 municipalities have already created their SECAPs with the aspiration of meeting the Covenant of Mayors’ target. Early adopters benefit because they will be already familiar with the process and can attract investment opportunities (which may be limited) sooner.

Define intervention points

The action plan provides the municipality with an objective, statistical, and factual overview of energy consumption and GHG emissions in different sectors (municipal facilities, population, transport, etc.). It gives a tangible picture of the current energy and climate risk situation of the municipality. A SECAP also provides a detailed assessment of municipal energy efficiency opportunities and renewable energy potential, thus providing a basis for future energy investments and facilitating municipal decisions even in the short term. It identifies critical intervention points and formulates innovative solutions using best practices.

Easier access to grants

In the case of tenders for European Union grants, it is often an advantage if the municipality has an energy strategy. Opportunities to access several direct EU funds such as the EU City Facility, ELENA, Jessica, H2020 Smart City programs require all applicants to have a SECAP. It is expected that soon all municipal tenders concerning energy efficiency and climate protection will require a sustainable energy strategy.

Reduce costs

Energy efficiency measures reduce the energy consumption of buildings. By utilizing the renewable energy source that best suits the conditions of the region, the overhead costs can be reduced for both the local government and the population. A SECAP makes it possible to map various energy saving options for the municipal institutions, public transport, and enterprises operating in the municipality, thus preparing and implementing energy projects that promote sustainability and rational energy management.

Sustainable energy use

If the municipality covers most of its energy use from locally available renewable energy sources, it can increase its energy security and become more independent from energy imports.

Cleaner, more livable neighborhoods

The larger the role of renewable energy sources in the energy mix, the less pollutants are released into the air, including small particles (such as PM2.5) known to harm human health. Increasing green spaces and widening bike paths will result in more pleasant living conditions.

Get in the loop

By joining the Covenant of Mayors, one of the most prestigious urban development organizations in the world, a municipality is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 55% by 2030. Numerous municipalities have already created their climate strategies and can now benefit from getting support from the CoM.


Start of accession process (letter of intent)


Mapping the current situation and data collection

Data evaluation, BEI inventory preparation

Creation of action plan to achieve 55% reduction by 2030

Upload data to the Covenant of Mayors system


Signatories of the former Covenant of Mayors addressing only energy and climate change mitigation have committed to prepare and implement a Sustainable Energy Action Plan (SEAP) before 2020. Signatories of the new Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy now commit to prepare and implement Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plan (SECAP), addressing both climate mitigation and adaptation before 2030.


The Central and Eastern Europe Sustainable Energy Network (CEESEN) started as an online platform in 2016 as a result of an EU-funded PANEL 2050 project. Its aim is to mobilize different energy actors to spread SECAPs in the CEE region and represent their interests at the EU level. As a result of the CEESEU project, CEESEN is now able to step ahead and become a true organization in its own right to support the network to design a sustainable future for their communities.


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CEESEN has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreements 696173 and 892270. Disclaimer: The sole responsibility for the content of this material lies with the authors. It does not necessarily represent the views of the European Union, and neither EASME nor the European Commission are responsible for any use of this material.