The list is the responsibility of the “Disclosure Insight Action” (or “Carbon Disclosure Project – CDP), a non-profit organisation that manages the global environmental disclosure system for companies, cities, states and regions.

In the document, the A list of cities includes the capitals: Athens, Copenhagen, Madrid, Oslo, Paris, Reykjavik and Stockholm. But the majority of the cities mentioned (80 percent) are areas with less than one million inhabitants.

In Europe, the list went from 21 cities last year to 22 this year, with Guimarães appearing for the second time in a row. Globally, the list recognises 119 cities as climate leaders.

Twelve of the 22 European cities, more than half, are from the Nordic countries of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland.

“The sixth edition of the annual Cities A List was published by the CDP, celebrates the cities recognised as global environmental leaders because of their transparency, ambition and actions to combat climate change; part of the various criteria that cities must meet to obtain an A classification”, says the CDP.

The organisation warns that recent data shows that 80 percent of cities worldwide face climate risks and that 70 percent expect these risks to become worse.

The list shows a predominance of European cities but covers cities on all continents, from Denver, in the United States, to Mexico City, from Cape Town, in South Africa to Quezon City, in the Philippines or Canberra in Australia.

“2023 was the year of broken temperature records and extreme weather conditions, making it more evident than ever that cities are on the front line of the environmental crisis”, which is quoted in the document, the executive director of CDP Europe, Maxfield Weiss, expressed how “encouraging” it is to see many small cities on Europe’s A list.

It proves that “vast financial resources are not needed to lead the way in regards to environmental reporting and action”, he said.

In addition to Guimarães, the European list includes Athens, Copenhagen, Helsingør, Lund, Madrid, Malmo, Mannheim, Milan, Reykjavik, Zaragoza, Stockholm, Tampere, Trondheim, Turin, Turku, Uppsala and Vantaa.

All cities that, according to the CDP, adopt four times more mitigation and adaptation measures to climate change than cities not included in the A List.