In a statement, Zero – Associação Sistema Terrestre Sustentável highlights that “emissions associated with the consumption of diesel and gasoline in road transport continue to increase”, according to calculations made from the Rapid Fossil Fuel Statistics, published by the General Directorate of Energy and Geology.

Considering the period between July 2022 and July 2023 (inclusive), emissions totaled 18.2 million tons of carbon dioxide, 6.2% more than in the period between July 2018 and July 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Between July 2022 and July 2023, the increase was 5.4%, estimates the association, saying that this happened “despite the prices of road fuels being at historically high levels, almost one million people having adopted the hybrid work model and the loss of purchasing power”.

According to Zero's accounts, the biggest growth was recorded in the consumption of gasoline 95 (12.9%), while diesel rose 4.9%, which allows us to determine that the origin of the increase in emissions is more due to greater use of light vehicles than of heavy passenger and freight vehicles.

Zero attributes this increase to “several phenomena”, namely the use of former public transport users to use private cars, “as a way of reducing the risk of contagion” from Covid-19.

At the same time, “the great expansion of partial or fully remote work arrangements may have reduced the relative cost of using individual transport in relation to bus passes, increasing the attractiveness of the car”, he points out.

Furthermore, “the departure of many tens of thousands of residents from the municipalities of Porto and Lisbon (around 70 thousand between 2019 and 2022) due to the sharp rise in housing prices” may have increased commuting using cars.

Furthermore, there was an increase in tourists “who visited regions further away from Lisbon, Porto, and Faro airports”, using cars.

For the association, 2024 has to be a “turning point”, since, to achieve the climate goals for 2030, “emissions from the transport sector have to be reduced by 2% every year, starting next year”.