The Environmental Protection Association Zero, which acknowledges the effects of the pandemic on the positive outcome, said pollutant emissions in Portugal fell by 10% in 2020 compared to the previous year, but argues that it is also the effect of structural measures it wants to see. They expanded.
Zero stated in a statement that “58 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent” emitted in 2020 represents a decrease of about 10% (9.5%) compared to 2019, from 32.9% compared to 2005. And 1.6% compared to 1990, defined as the base year to the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.
“The total value of emissions considering the forest component was 51 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), which is an 8.9% decrease compared to the previous year, a decrease of 32.9% compared to 2005 and a decrease of 15% compared to 2019, which is the lowest value for net issuances in Portugal since 1990,” the statement adds. Zero also highlights the “extremely positive” variance in sectoral terms, with agriculture being the exception, the only sector that experienced an increase in emissions in 2020 compared to 2019.
“The forest sector has shown great diversity in Portugal. Forests usually act as a sink, removing carbon from the atmosphere as happened in 2020, with a value of approximately 7 million tons of carbon dioxide, and unlike in 2017, where the forest fires acted as great As a net source of emissions. However, we are still far from the carbon sequestration target of between 11 and 13 million tons per year to achieve a climate neutral scenario,” the statement read.
For Zero, “This dramatic drop in emissions levels was clearly a reflection of the significant reduction in activity caused by prevention and emergency measures within the scope of the national response to the covid-19 pandemic.”
“However, the downward trend since 2017, including production withdrawals from heavily polluting coal-fired power plants that began in 2020 and investments in renewables could guarantee a downward trend over the next few years,” he says. Environmental Association.
Zero considers measures in the transport sector and energy efficiency in buildings to be “very crucial” in the coming years for “Portugal to be able to anticipate climate neutrality and ensure greater energy independence in line with the response to the pandemic crisis and the consequences of the war on Ukraine”.