The 2021-2022 EIB Climate Survey has revealed the concerns of Portuguese people relating to climate change and the environment.

According to the survey conducted by the European Investment Bank (EIB): “The vast majority of the Portuguese population (77 percent) feel that climate change has an impact on their everyday lives. This is a concern shared by both the younger (75 percent) and older generations (75 percent), dispelling myths that climate change is more of a concern for the young and a generationally divisive subject.

When it comes to regulation, the majority (85 percent) of Portuguese respondents favour stricter government measures that would impose changes on people’s behaviour (15 points above the EU average of 70 percent).

Meanwhile, “only 5 percent of Portuguese people still believe that global warming is not due to human activities”.

When asked about the source of energy their country should rely on to fight global warming, the survey found that the majority of “Portuguese people favour renewable energies (83 percent, 20 points above the EU average of 63 percent) to address the climate emergency”. It was also found that Portuguese people are overall less supportive of nuclear energy than other Europeans (3 percent vs. 12 percent).

Popular solutions

Over three quarters of Portuguese people (77 percent) would support – and to a greater extent than Europeans in general (69 percent) – the introduction of a tax on products and services that contribute most to global warming. The survey continues to state that “Portuguese respondents are also in favour of a five-year minimum warranty on any electric or electronic product (95 percent) and replacing short-distance flights with fast, low-emission trains (91 percent). They also favour softer measures like strengthening education and increasing youth awareness of sustainable consumption (96 percent)”.

EIB Vice-President Ricardo Mourinho Félix said: “91 percent of Portuguese respondents say they want to replace short-distance flights by fast trains. The expansion of the Trans-European Transport and Energy Networks (TENs) remains one of our key objectives as they increase the potential to generate trade, foster economic growth, boost competitiveness while reducing pollution. That is why, for example, we financed high-speed trains connecting Portugal and Spain, facilitating interoperable and efficient freight connections to and from the south of Portugal.

“We must crowd in resources from the private sector and invest in new disruptive technologies to achieve the climate goals we have set. It’s now or never - this is the critical decade to act.”