Climate Pact signed on World Environment DayClimate Pact signed on World Environment Day

Last Monday, 5th June, the 50th anniversary of the World Environment Day was celebrated and the Municipality of Guimarães and Laboratório da Paisagem took the opportunity to officially sign the Climate Pact with a group of 70 signatories, among companies and institutions of the municipality of Guimarães.

The ceremony took place during the Conference on Circular Economy and Environment, which was held at the Laboratório da Paisagem, and was attended by Domingos Bragança, Mayor of Guimarães, Isabel Ferreira, Secretary of State for Regional Development, Miguel Bandeira, Pro-Rector of the University of Minho, and Sofia Ferreira, Councillor for the Environment, who stressed the importance of the moment for the objectives related to the “Mission Cities”, of which Guimarães is part, and which aims for Climate Neutrality by 2030.

In his speech, Domingos Bragança recalled the actions that have been undertaken by the Municipality of Guimarães, through the Landscape Lab and the municipal services dedicated to sustainability and environment, aimed at the preservation of Nature and the environment, with emphasis on those that directly involve the citizens, not forgetting the school-age population. “Changing attitudes is very important for this plan of ours, which is a plan that is not only local, but global,” he stressed. The mayor mentioned Guimarães’ application to become the European Green Capital 2025, which is underway, in light of what he considers “a balance between the territory’s ecological footprint and the development of its daily economic activity”. For the mayor, this can be achieved through “a resource that we did not have in the past with the intensity and diffusion of today, throughout society, and that is Science generating a dazzling new knowledge, inducing new and innovative technologies and strengthening our interpretation of the world, where our ecological awareness now resides.”


Domingos Bragança finished his speech by appealing to the thousands of companies in the region, with a high level of industrial activity, to see in the circularity of the economy, in environmental sustainability, an opportunity for innovation and competitiveness, through networking and in partnership with the research centres of our Universities and Polytechnics, Guimarães is and will be an industrial territory, and we want to show the world that we can be an industrial territory but environmentally sustainable, that through our collective will and knowledge we can transform the world for the better, accepting today’s challenges of decarbonisation, of fighting climate change and of living in harmony with nature.

Miguel Bandeira, Pro-Rector of UMinho, highlighted the institution’s universalist vocation, saying that “the community’s aims should be mobilising” for the University. He also mentioned the foundations that Guimarães began to build in 2012, when the European Capital of Culture was held, which he considers “the foundations of knowledge that the citizens of Guimarães have internalised”. An attitude towards knowledge that allows them the balance and proportion necessary for a good use of resources, so that the territory does not lose sight of the 17 statements of UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals. “Guimarães is an example of strong social cohesion and identity”, she concluded.

In her turn, Isabel Ferreira, Secretary of State for Regional Development, said it was necessary to reflect as a society on the challenges of climate transition, highlighting the fact that Guimarães is not limited to commemorating festive days, but rather to undertake a set of relevant initiatives towards climate neutrality. Isabel Ferreira referred the candidature to the European Green Capital and Green Week as two examples of this commitment of Guimarães which, as a medium-sized city, has the ability to set a national and international example in sustainability policies, as well as the ability to “ease the daily lives of people”.

Isabel Ferreira also recalled that European funds are an instrument that will enable the reduction of asymmetries, job creation and digital and climate transitions. “This conference is an opportunity to consolidate a vision that makes actions compatible with economic, social and environmental sustainability”.

It is also important to highlight the intervention of the president of CCDR-N, António Cunha, who during the Circular Economy and Environment Conference, as Keynote Speaker, left the motto for the goal “Towards decarbonisation and zero pollution in the North Region”: it is not enough to reach the zero point between greenhouse gas emissions and their mitigation. According to António Cunha, we will have to fight the current deficit in order to reach the desired levels. It should be noted that the European Ecological Pact outlines a commitment for the future and that the European Climate Law sets in at least 55% the net reduction of greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2030, and climate neutrality in 2050.

The subscribers of the Guimarães Climate Pact are committed to: adopting short, medium and long term strategies of decarbonisation of their activity; leading, empowering and facilitating the adaptation of the activity to the GHG emissions reduction ambitions; involving the various agents and collaborating entities; collecting data, monitoring and reporting the progress made towards the GHG emissions reduction and sustainability goals; communicating the message and goals achieved, ensuring the transparency of the processes and involving all stakeholders during them.

The list of signatories can be consulted at