'Drastic' cut in oil imports for carbon neutrality by 2050

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 23-01-2019 08:28:00 · 1 Comments
'Drastic' cut in oil imports for carbon neutrality by 2050

Portugal’s minister for environment said on Tuesday that achieving the government’s declared goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 will represent a "drastic reduction" in imports of crude oil to 10 million barrels a year from the current 70 million.

Speaking at a hearing in parliament’s environment committee, João Pedro Matos Fernandes said that the government’s roadmap for carbon neutrality, which is currently out for public consultation, can only anticipate future scenarios, but is based on the assumption that it is possible for Portugal by 2050 to produce only so much greenhouse gas, such as carbon dioxide, as the country's vegetation can absorb.

Social Democrat deputy Hugo Coimbra questioned the minister about what he said was a lack of "real actions" in the roadmap, stressing that it could have been produced earlier and that it seems mainly to be "a show of good intentions to adorn the end of this parliament", in the run up to this autumn’s general election.

Coimbra noted that Matos Fernandes’s term as minister is ending and that it "leaves much to be desired" because it does not have "a single reform" to show during a parliament in which "the Left Bloc seemed to control" the ministry’s options, rather than the governing Socialist Party.

Left Bloc deputy Maria Manuel Rola, by contrast, lamented what she said was the continuing "influence of hydrocarbons" in the economy, even with the desire to achieve carbon neutrality. She also argued that plans to cut the prices of public transport passes in the Lisbon and Porto metropolitan areas should be extended to the entire country.

Patrícia Fonseca, from the right-wing People’s Party (CDS-PP), said that sector interests had "complained that they had not been heard" in the drafting of the roadmap, and criticised the government's option for the "mitigation" of carbon emissions, such as investing in electric vehicles, while "forgetting the need for adaptation", an aspect where she said there was "a great lack of ambition".

Communist Party deputy Angela Moreira warned that the roadmap foresees a reduction in the number of livestock – in a sector in which there are currently "1.7 million head" of cattle - and that this would have consequences "in the lives and income" of those who rely on farming.

Matos Fernandes said that "all sectors" of the economy will have to contribute to reduce emissions, with the emphasis on electricity generation (to cut emissions by 98%), industry (to cut by 72%) and agriculture (to cut 20%.)

"The trajectories of emissions depend on different scenarios,” he noted, admitting that the roadmap does not lay down "political goals for execution."


I would actually like the Portuguese Government to explain to their electrate what a Portuguese Economy and Society would loook like in 2050.

Maybe no industry, no agriculture and no electricity at night time.

by Thomas Kraemer from Lisbon on 24-01-2019 09:14:00
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