Quercus demands end to oil prospecting in areas of Alcobaca, Leiria

in World · 21-11-2019 09:40:00 · 0 Comments

Quercus, the environmental conservation group on Thursday called on the Government to end oil prospecting in the areas of Alcobaça and Leiria, claiming that their continuation will go against the European Union's environmental policies.

The use of hydrocarbons as a primary source of energy "is being challenged on a global scale," stresses Quercus, considering that "disinvestment in fossil fuels has become more evident as the EU has decided that there will be no more funds available to finance investments in this area, suspending all financial aid as of 2021".

This is "a strong signal" that the exploitation of fossil fuels is being discouraged in Europe, with new directives stipulating that funding will only "be made available to sources capable of producing 1kWh of energy with emissions lower than 250g of CO2, which will cause the European Investment Bank to stop financing projects in the area of oil, gas or coal".

Hence, in addition to all the environmental risks and impacts of exploration, such as those under study for Alcobaça and Leiria, the new European directives "clearly state that these two projects have no environmental or future financial sustainability and, as such, should not move forward".

In the document, the association also stresses that the Portuguese government "insistently mentions that it is necessary to make an energy transition in the country in order to reduce or end the use of fossil fuels".

Quercus demands that the government put an end to the two contracts for the concession of exploration rights.

The contracts in Alcobaça and Pombal, with the Australian company Australis, Oil & Gas are the only ones in the country and in January parliament recommended to the government that they be cancelled.

In May 2018, the Government announced that it would not grant new licences for oil prospecting on the Portuguese coast until 2019, but that it would keep "contractual commitments" underway.


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