“Portugal and 122 other countries have committed to an alliance to triple the production of renewables and double energy efficiency”, said Ana Fontoura Gouveia, speaking to journalists at the 28th United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28).
The commitment was made at a ministerial meeting dedicated to energy, a topic that was highlighted at the summit, and represents, for the Secretary of State, further progress in the ambition of reaching robust commitments with a view to reducing fossil fuels.
“The International Energy Agency presented these two very tangible goals and this allows each country to have a compass on what they should do individually”, he highlighted, considering that there is an increasing understanding that there is no time to waste in the combating climate change.
The list of 123 countries also includes the United Arab Emirates, host country of COP28 and one of the largest producers of fossil fuels.
Ana Fontoura Gouveia also commented on the recent controversy surrounding statements by the president of COP28, understanding that Sultan Al-Jaber's clarification sends “a very clear signal about ambition”.
On Sunday, Al Jaber said he was well aware that fossil fuels must be progressively reduced and abandoned, after controversial statements questioning science and the target of a 1.5ºC reduction in global warming.
In the opinion of the Portuguese official, the president of COP28 has kept the bar high and acted as a leader in terms of “guiding what the results should be”, but recognises that not all countries start from the same positions.
“Of course, there are countries that defend the elimination of fossil fuels and that argue that the technologies that offset these emissions should only be used in exceptional cases, when we have no alternatives. This is not always the understanding of oil-producing countries,” he explained.
“That’s why we are here, to find platforms of understanding and to find a language that allows us to do what is most important, which is in each of our countries to act towards the progressive elimination of fossil fuels until their total elimination” , he added.
Regarding Portugal's role, Ana Fontoura Gouveia argued that Portugal has been an example, showing that the path towards energy transition and decarbonisation has economic and financial results, allowing Portugal to attract investment and create jobs.