Ahead of the UN’s COP22 climate conference opening this week in Morocco, over 300 demonstrators gathered on the Guadiana Bridge last Saturday, protesting against Portugal’s insistence on going ahead with oil and gas exploration at a time when the world has well and truly woken up to the unsustainability of fossil fuels.
The meeting was marked by the fact that the proposed ‘march over the bridge’ was restricted to the Spanish side only, explains Público, as “Portuguese authorities contacted did not give authorisation” for it to extend to Portuguese territory.
Among national participants were various Algarve groups that have been leading this ‘people against the government’ fight, including joint organisers Tavira em Transição, PALP and ASMAA.
But next Saturday (November 12) promises even larger demonstrations in Lisbon and Porto as groups opposing oil and gas exploration plans that cover almost every inch of the country’s coastline, and many areas onshore, converge to take part in the “Salvar o Clima, Parar o Petróleo’ event, at 3pm.
Ever-present in the Algarve fight, civic group ASMAA has explained that “Portugal should dedicate itself 100% to the development of alternative energies and create a new law establishing itself as a leader in the alternative sector”.
The group’s CEO Laurinda Seabra was in full throttle last Saturday, telling news services that fossil fuel exploration was going against the will of this country’s many populations, and riding roughshod over human rights to a planet with energy policies that did not court catastrophe.
Meantime, ASMAA is laying on transport for Algarvians keen to take part in next Saturday’s march ‘to save the planet’.
People interested can sign up via www.salvaroclima.net and the fare is priced at the symbolic rate of just €5.