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November 12th demonstrations against oil exploration in Portugal

OilReferendumSMALLEnvironmental associations, political parties and a multitude of other organisations have called for three demonstrations on 12 November in Lisbon, Oporto and the Algarve, in protest against the planned exploration and production of oil in Portugal.

"We know it is necessary to promote an energy transition in the country and to the current scenario, the climatic difficulties, international agreements, all this is contradictory to the exploration and production of oil in Portugal," said Ricardo Vicente from Peniche Livre de Petróleo, one of the organisations involved in the protests.

The date of the demonstration also is the 22nd Climate Summit in Morocco:

"In the last climate summit in late 2015, a target to curb global warming was set of between 1.5 and 2 degres Celsius. In view of this agreement, recently ratified by the Portuguese Government, we now have in Portugal 15 concessions for the exploration and production of oil," said Vincente, adding that it makes no sense to continue to look for oil if Portugal wants to meet the terms of the agreement.

In 2015, exploration contracts and oil production licenses were renewed with consortia which picked up concessions for periods of between 55 and 60 years. The contracts cover 33,000 square kilometers off the Portuguese coast and much of the Algarve’s land mass.

"In Portugal the offshore contracts range from Oporto to the Algarve. These threaten our entire coastal strip and those activities that depend on it," said Vicente.

However, "the problems are not only located in the sea, there are also on the ground," with the possibility of fracking being used which may well pollute underground water supplies.

Noting that "the environmental impacts are disastrous," Vicente said the Gulf of Mexico accident in 2010 which contaminated sea water, the shoreline and destroyed biodiversity, tourism and fishing - "The risks that existed there also exist here."

The locations and times of events will be on www.salvaroclima.net and on the Facebook page of the movement, 'Salvar o Clima, Parar o Petróleo.'

Other organsiations involved in the anti-oil demonstrations are ASMAA - Associação de Surf e Atividades Marítimas do Algarve, Bloco de Esquerda, Climáximo, Coletivo Clima, Futuro Limpo, GEOTA - Grupo de Estudos de Ambiente e Ordenamento do Território, Movimento Algarve Livre de Petróleo, Partido Ecologista “Os Verdes”, Peniche Livre de Petróleo, PAN - Pessoas Animais Natureza, Plataforma Não ao Tratado Transatlântico, Porto pelo Ambiente, Preservar Algarve - Aljezur, Quercus, Sciaena, SPEA - Sociedade Portuguesa para o Estudo das Aves, STOP Petróleo Vila do Bispo, Tavira em Transição and, last but not least, Zero.