The two northern cities are the only Portuguese to appear on the “A list” created by the CDP, an international organisation funded by the European Union and which assesses the environmental action of companies, cities, states and regions.

Last year, these two cities were also distinguished, as well as Águeda, in Aveiro, which is not mentioned this year, while in 2019 the "class A" Portuguese cities were Lisbon, Sintra and Guimarães.

According to a statement sent by CDP, the 95 selected cities “received the maximum score for their transparency and ambitious action to mitigate or adapt to climate change”.

“To secure an A-score, a city must publicly disclose its environmental data and have a city-wide emissions inventory, have an ambitious emission reduction target and future target for renewable energy, and have published a plan for climate action”, clarifies the organisation.

To get a good rating, cities also need to have "a climate risk and vulnerability assessment and a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how they will react to weather conditions."

The A list includes another 26 European cities, including Athens, Berlin, Copenhagen, Paris, Stockholm and Zurich.

The CDP highlights the absence of mainland China, India and Russia from the list, "the three largest emitters, with the exception of the United States of America".

According to this organisation, the sum of the population of these 95 cities is 108 million, "a tiny fraction (2.6 percent) of the 4.2 billion people who live in cities", which "highlights the urgent need for more cities to raise their climate ambition for those who live and work in them”.

This year, 956 cities were assessed, “a substantial increase from the 591 cities assessed in 2020”, which is the result of an effort to increase transparency.

“For the first time, more than a thousand cities are disclosing their environmental impact data” through the CDP system.

Those on the “A-list” take “twice as much climate measures as other cities, and also identify more than twice as many climate-related opportunities as developing sustainable transport or clean technology sectors”.

The list is now in its fourth year of existence, and in this edition, the criteria have been tightened, “to reflect the level of ambition necessary to reach the goals” to limit global warming to 1.5º Celsius.