Porto integrates the global list of 95 cities that lead in environmental action

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The city of Porto was recognised by the non-governmental organisation CDP as one of the 95 cities in the world that is taking a bold lead in environmental action and transparency, despite the pandemic’s ongoing pressure on local and national economies and societies.

Like what happened in 2020, the CDP included Porto once again in the A list of world cities that distinguished themselves in 2021 for their action and environmental transparency. The lot has increased from 88 to 95 and includes 26 European Cities.

The criteria for joining the CDPA List are tight: cities must publicly disclose and have an emissions inventory, have defined an emissions reduction target and a renewable energies goal for the future, and have published a climate action plan. They must also carry out a full climate risk and vulnerabilities assessment and have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how they deal with climate hazards.

Porto has, since 2016, a Municipal strategy for adaptation to climate changes (EMAAC), that advocates 52 strategic options that aim to gradually prepare the city to absorb climate impacts, adapt and retroact to reduce the exposure of its citizens to the effects of climate changes. This plan has been under implementation since then by the many parties involved and several of the measures were integrated into the new Municipal Master Plan, that began in 2021.

Among other measures, Porto has been increasing the city’s permeable surface, rehabilitating water lines and duplicating green spaces, favouring the sponge-city effect, that is thus better prepared to deal with the effects caused by external meteorological effects.

Development of Porto’s environmental index is also underway, aimed to encourage the promoters of refurbishment, rehabilitation, and construction to enhance the use of natural based solutions in projects. This index, foreseen in the new PDM, aims to increase the bioclimatic comfort of the city’s buildings and reduce the vulnerability of the most fragile to extreme weather events.

In the area of decarbonisation, Porto has committed itself to reduce the carbon emissions by 50% until 2030, but the vice mayor, Filipe Araújo revealed, in the Municipal Assembly that he is preparing a more ambitious proposal to take to the Executive meeting, still in 2021. In 2019, Porto had already reduced greenhouse effect gas emissions by 46% compared to the base year (2004).

Filipe Araújo recently participated in a panel organised by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability within the scope of COP26 (Glasgow World Climate Summit), where he presented the city’s vision and initiatives in the area of the circular economy, under the motto “Porto, a city inspired by Nature”.

Apart from Porto, Braga is the only Portuguese city included in the A list by the CDP.