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Greens visit the Algarve with 'anti-oil and gas' support

GreensPortugal's Ecology Party, 'The Greens,' today launched an awareness campaign in the Algarve all about oil and gas exploration, which is, according to the party "counter-cyclical" with international environmental policies for reducing emissions and pollution.

The launch was in Aljezur with a later press conference in Tavira, the two Algarve municipalities where onshore licenses have been granted to Portfuel for natural gas and oil exploration.

Joaquim Correia, the Greens national director, stressed the need to "change the paradigm" for energy and "invest in renewables."

Correia regretted that the Portuguese State had decided to authorise natural gas and oil exploration on land and at sea, "in contradiction" with the goals signed by the Government at the last UN climate change summit in Paris - cop21.

"We think that with the signature of the Portuguese Government cop21, it makes no sense to have begun to explore for and eventual extract oil in the Algarve. In 2015, Portugal was one of the countries that increased carbon emissions and therefore has to change the paradigm and turn to renewable energy. We think this will be the future and to achieve the goals of cop21 that the Government signed," commented Correia.

The leader said that "hydrocarbon exploitation goes against everything that the Portuguese economy needs, which is to be decarbonised" and warned that the Algarve’s economic activity is in tourism or in the fisheries sector.

Joaquim Correia also criticized the "lack of transparency" of the exploration contracts which have been signed for the Algarve and recalled that those responsible for the sector "have admitted the possibility of the contract with Portfuel in Aljezur being anulled "

"We are waiting for the government as a good watchdog, to annul the contract. The others, if there is any chance they start drilling boreholes, should be subject to environmental impact studies and then their contracts can also be cancelled," he added, with hope far ahead of experience.

The lack of these impact studies has been criticised by political parties, elected officials, PALP, ASMAA and other environmental associations which have called for the end to the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Algarve. Now the Greens have joined in, albeit rather late in the day.

Joaquim Correia said that it is a nonsense that no environmental impact assessments were done before the contracts were signed and added that his party, after this public awareness campaign, "will decide what actions to take at the political and parliamentary level to end exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Algarve."

__________________

Regarding the offshore drilling staring on July 1st, 2016 there is a 'public consultation' running between 31 May and 22 June with individuals invited to email the Mineral Resources Authority on

dgrm@dgrm.mam.gov.pt 

The advice document from DGRM helpfully advises anyone wishing for more information to get in touch via post to Avenida Brasilia, 1449-030, Lisbon, or by telephone on 213 025 193.

Because of the obvious weaknesses in a public consultation that only allows people to write in or phone up, anti-oil group ASMAA has set up an urgent Public Petition which readers with Fiscal Numbers are invited to fill in and hit ‘send’

http://peticaopublica.com/pview.aspx?pi=PT81291

For those without a Fiscal Number, hit this link to add your opinion:

https://www.change.org/p/dgrm-director-general-objection-to-offshore-drilling-licence-in-aljezur-offshore-being-granted-to-eni

If enough people sign the official Public Petition, there may be a suspension of the July 1st drilling off the Alentejo shore while parliament has to set aside time to debate the oil and gas issue.

 

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Comments  

+3 #1 Christian 2016-05-28 15:58
Funny, is it not, that nobody was aware of this 'awareness campaign' taking place in Aljezur and Tavira. And did the Greens not know about the scores of groups in the Algarve that have been campaigning against the oil and gas explorations since last year? If they want to raise awareness about this issue they should do so in their Lisbon and Porto constituencies, please! In any case, the 'Pros e Contras' debate on RTP1 last Monday (for which some 50 'unawares' from the Algarve like myself travelled to Lisbon) may have done more to influence public opinion on the subject than the Green Party might achieve in 50 years.
(The undersigned was a member of the Green Party in Germany in the early 1980s but got quickly disillusioned by the bunch of bored teachers and civil servants that managed to take the reins of the party early on.)

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