Signalling Lisbon’s tenure of ‘Green capital 2020’ prime minister António Costa has announced that from February 1 ministers will be using only electric vehicles to circulate the Greater Lisbon area.
The news was greeted with derision over social media by commentators who queried: “And the batteries? The ‘fantastic cruise ships’? The planes? And thousands of tourists who leave garbage everywhere? Contradictions, contradictions, contradictions and lots of rhetoric!”
Costa nonetheless sees the plan as a “symbolic gesture” that could “serve as an example to others”.
Also underway is a project to make the functioning of the prime ministerial building “more sustainable”, he told his audience of young people at the commemoration of Lisbon’s new ‘green honour’.
Forty of the 85 tons of CO2 produced annually by the PM’s official residence will be “offset through the local energy production, 35 tons via energetic efficiency management measures and 10 tons through the trees in the garden”, he said.
Stressing that the reality of climate change is undeniable and “needs rapid action”, Costa said the government’s examples are trying to convey the message that we all have to change our habits over the next 10 years “if we want to win the (climate change) battle”.