Better air quality in Portugal

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 27-12-2019 14:00:00 · 0 Comments

In 2018 there was less energy consumption, less burnt area and record expenditures in the environmental sector, but an aging vehicle fleet and less productivity in the use of resources, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE).

In the 2018 Environment Statistics, INE indicates that 2018 was "normal for temperature and rainfall," representing the second coldest year and the fourth with more rain compared to the previous decade and with more days of "good" air quality thanks to decreases of more than 10 percent in the concentrations of inhalable particles compared to 2017.

Environmental spending represented 1.1% of GDP, an increase of 1% over the previous year, and state spending on environmental protection activities rose 12.2% in 2018 to 1.191 billion euros, with waste management representing the largest share, at 435 million euros, followed by biodiversity and landscape protection(392 million euros).

On the revenue side, the state collected 5.3 billion euros in environmentally relevant taxes, 4.3% more than in 2017, but the tax on oil and energy products fell from 69.2% to 67.3%.

Other energy taxes, which include greenhouse gas emission permits, more than doubled, increasing 111.2%.

The figures for greenhouse gas emissions refer to 2017, the year in which Portugal emitted an additional 7% of greenhouse gases, equivalent to 79,737 kilotonnes of carbon equivalent, mainly from the energy sector, which is responsible for 72.6% of emissions.

Primary energy consumption decreased 2.8% in relation to 2017, standing at 22,476 kilotonnes of oil equivalent, 51.45 of which came from renewable sources, an increase of 26% in relation to the previous year.

Less coal and natural gas was used to produce energy and renewable energy sources increased by 3.2% in 2018 to 23.9%.

On the negative side, INE highlights that there were more cars in circulation in Portugal, but older ones. The number of cars on the road in Portugal increased 4% in 2018 compared to 2017, the equivalent of 258,000 more cars, but the average age was 13 years old for light vehicles (12.7 years in 2017) and 13.7 for heavy vehicles (13.4 years in 2017).

Diesel cars were the majority, accounting for 65% of the total, but the proportion of cars with other energy sources decreased. In 2018, for each gas or electric car on Portuguese roads there were 37.8 diesel cars (45.6 in the previous year) and 19.3 gasoline cars (23.8 in 2017).

During 2018 5.2 million tons of urban waste were collected, 4.2% more than in the previous year, the equivalent of 507 kilos per inhabitant (21 kilos more than in 2017). INE highlights the negative increase in the amount of biodegradable urban waste that went to landfill, reaching 46% of the total, 3% more than in 2017.

The amount of waste prepared for reuse and recycling increased by 2% in 2018, standing at 40% of the total, although still ten points below the target of 50% set in the Commitment to Green Growth.

The area burned in 2018 reached 44,600 hectares, 495,300 less than the 539,900 hectares in 2017, the year of the major fires in the center of the country that caused more than 100 deaths.


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