In a public petition entitled "Pressure António Costa to approve the 60 percent GHG reduction in 2030 at the European Council", the Volt Portugal party is challenging the Prime Minister, also addressing the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, João Pedro Matos Fernandes.
The party asks the Prime Minister to "not only vote in favour of this proposed 60 percent reduction at the European Council on 15 and 16 October, but also to defend it with his colleagues in the Council (other heads of national governments) to approve this necessary target.
The European Parliament (EP) voted on 8 October for a further 60 percent cut in CO2 emissions by 2030, which needs to be ratified by the European Council.
This proposal has increased the European Commission's figures, which were to cut emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels, and it is now up to the European Council to approve the new target, a process that could take time because of the dependence of certain European countries on fossil industries.
Although it is not "the ideal target", Volt Portugal considers that "there is an urgent need in this matter" and asks António Costa to "exert pressure on the European Council so that its counterparts also approve this fundamental target".
MEPs want the EU to become the first continent to achieve climate neutrality by 2050 and then reach a "negative emissions level".
In a virtual debate on 9 September, Portuguese MEPs Nuno Melo, Marisa Matias and Lídia Pereira said that Europe's increased ambition to reduce emissions was a positive sign but needed to be based on pragmatism and science and defend the economy and jobs.