The study, prepared by consultancy McKinsey&Company, argues that Portugal needs to accelerate recent trends of decarbonisation and that it has the conditions to “decarbonise more quickly and at a lower cost than the European Union”.

“Portugal can achieve carbon neutrality, or ‘net-zero’, before 2050, while achieving growth opportunities,” reads the document.

To keep up with the European Union’s reduction target of 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, Portugal “needs to accelerate recent decarbonisation trends (identified between 2005 and 2019) by 20 percent,” the report’s authors suggest.

The “net zero” goal, they suggest, can be achieved before 2050, “given the low-cost decarbonisation potential that Portugal presents, relative to other European countries”.

“Portugal has the conditions to decarbonise about 50 percent by 2030 (vs 1990), given the more favourable position of the electro-production sector, the greater penetration of electric vehicles, as well as a greater potential of the forest for emissions sequestration,” they justify.

These targets imply that the country increases renewable electric capacity, stimulates the adoption of electric vehicles and the development of new value chains, such as green hydrogen, low carbon fuels and CCUS (carbon capture, use and/or storage).

“A strategic approach to forestry and land use is also needed, as well as decisive action by the private and public sectors and civil society,” the document recommends.

The necessary investment, according to the company, could have a weight of around 7 percent of GDP, mostly redirected from technologies with a high carbon footprint. On the other hand, it may create “growth opportunities up to 10-15 percent of the Portuguese GDP”.