Portugal appears three times on the list of cities leading climate adaptation policies. Lisbon, Guimarães and Sintra are among the 105 leading cities in the world when it comes to climate action, according to the list released by the international organization “Carbon Disclosure Project”.
Carbon Disclosure Project – the organization that produced and released the ranking – is a UK-based non-profit organization that supports investors, companies, cities and regions to manage environmental impacts.
The organization’s assessment focuses on 850 cities and more than 8,000 companies around the world and is based on data related to emissions, climate-related vulnerabilities and actions to reduce emissions and adapt to risk. With these assessments “CDP seeks to encourage and guide them on the path of climate transparency and action,” says the organization.
According to the result the cities are classified from “A” to “D”. Lisbon appears on the “A” list because, as CDP says, it reduced emissions by 50% between 2002 and 2014 and the Municipal Master Plan includes a plan for urban gardens that will increase green areas by about 20%. The action plan for the construction of 75 new kilometres of new bus roads and 92 kilometres of pedestrian networks is also highlighted.
From 2018 to 2019, the list of cities on the list increased from 43 to 105, with one third located in Europe. And of the 850 cities analysed, around 12% made it to this year’s A list, which means an increase of 7% over last year, meaning for CDP that the number of cities with strict environmental standards has increased. “Cities are taking the climate crisis more seriously than before. Within a year, the number of cities on List A has increased from 43 in 2018 to 105 in 2019. Representing a combined global population of 170 million, these regions are leading the transition to a secure climate future and setting an example for others to follow,” reads the released note.
Of the cities that responded to the data release request, CDP highlights the city of Manchester, which is on track to achieve carbon neutrality by 2038, a target it intends to meet through measures such as cutting greenhouse gases equivalent to 20.6 million metric tons of CO2 from the atmosphere. The South African city of Durban Metro is also a major target by aiming for 40% of electricity consumption to come from renewable energies by 2030. The city of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, has adopted exemplary measures to enter the list: in 2011 it launched a tax scheme that offers tax rebates to residents who take measures to modernize buildings and make more sustainable life choices, such as purchasing electric vehicles.
The “A” list, being composed of countries with such disparate realities, shows us that environmental concerns and the sense of urgency for change are intensifying, especially in developing countries that end up feeling the extreme weather effects in a more direct way.