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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Portugal 2011

image of OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Portugal 2011

This report presents the OECD review of Portugal’s environmental policy performance for 2011. It finds that environmental policies have been consolidated and strengthened since the last review in 2001, but that meeting the post-Kyoto targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be challenging. With energy and climate policies being closely related, the report points out that with less than 50% of hydro capacity currently being exploited, there is potential for further development in that area. It also describes the challenges regarding coastal zone and marine management.

Topics covered in the report include greening growth, implementation of environmental policies , international co-operation , climate change, waste management and the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle), and nature and biodiversity.

Further information about the Environmental Performance Review programme is available on line via www.oecd.org/env/countryreviews

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Energy and Environment Integration

Portugal’s climate and energy policies are closely intertwined. Portugal is highly dependent on imported fossil fuels, which has stimulated diversification of the energy mix. The increased use of both natural gas and renewable energy sources is the main reason for the decline in greenhouse gas emissions since 2005. The challenge will be to sustain this reduction once economic growth resumes, with a view to achieving Portugal’s targets by 2020. Portugal has also actively supported energy efficiency and renewable sources, and it is poised to meet its ambitious renewable energy target. However, these policies should be assessed to ensure that they do not overlap with the EU Emissions Trading System, that energy prices reflect environmental costs, and that they are cost-effective. Portugal has introduced strong incentives to use more efficient vehicles and has developed ambitious plans to promote electric vehicles. Nonetheless, incentives to optimise decisions concerning car use could be further improved.

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