European climate ambassadors help Porto become a more sustainable city

  • Article




Many individual citizens have already signed up to the Porto Climate Pact. A kind of 'ambassadors' aligned for a common cause: making the city more sustainable and environmentally friendly. A way found, also at European level, to mobilise civil society to spread the message about climate change and neutrality, in the cities and on the continent, by 2050.

Ana Rita Barros is a good example of commitment in this area. Together with other young people, she created FOCA - Focus On Critical Action, an environmental defence youth association. Founded in Porto in 2018, it aims to help mitigate environmental problems and adapt everyday life to current needs. Its action plan can be divided into three areas: awareness-raising, field activities, and research and development support.

FOCA has already signed the Porto Climate Pact, but Ana Rita wanted to take this cause further. She applied and was selected by the European Commission to represent Portugal as an Ambassador for the European Climate Pact. She is one of a small group of 39 citizens chosen by that European Union body to represent our country as pact ambassadors. This group includes researchers, students and personalities linked to areas as diverse as design and communication, but also climate activism, and already has more than 900 representatives across the continent.

'A joint and complete work'

Ana Rita Barros graduated in Environmental Sciences and Technology from the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Porto (FCUP), and has a master’s degree in environmental engineering from the Faculty of Engineering (FEUP). She won the U.Porto Active Citizenship Award 2021 in the area of Environmental Defence, and currently presides the Federation of Youth Associations of the Porto District (FAJDP).

She is a member of Porto Ambiente's Carbon Neutrality Board of Porto, with the mission of supporting the management of the Porto Climate Pact. 'This connection allows me to perform a joint and complete work, with a local and global vision and action', she admits.

Ana Rita believes that being an ambassador for the European Climate Pact for a year gives her 'the chance to optimise the work thought up at global level on a community scale, through different volunteering projects, in which I am included, to create synergies in this vast network and to learn a lot about climate change and the complex issues associated with this problem'.

We should recall that Porto was selected by the European Commission to join the group of 100 Smart Cities with a Climate Neutral Impact, and as a Mission City, Porto's ambition is to be a national and European leader in climate action, bringing forward carbon neutrality by 2030.

The Porto Climate Pact is another tool available to society as a whole. To date, more than 220 institutions and more 500 individual citizens have joined it. You can subscribe to the document here.