Country ahead in switch to renewables, consensus on sustainability

  • Lusa
  • 27 September 2022

Before an audience of teachers, students and businessmen of various nationalities, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa presented Portugal as a country that "is ahead" when it comes to sustainability.

Portugal is “ahead” in decarbonisation and transition to renewable energy, with a “national consensus” on sustainability, the President of the Republic said at Stanford University in California.

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was speaking at the recently created Faculty of Sustainability of Stanford University, at a seminar on “Solutions for a sustainable future in Portugal and California,” on Monday afternoon, which is early Tuesday morning in Portugal.

At the beginning of his speech, in English, the Head of State said that he was in California accompanied by a representative of the government, the secretary of state for the Portuguese Communities, Paulo Cafôfo, and by members of parliament from “completely different parties, but with the same position on this issue of sustainability”.

The President of the Republic introduced Eurico Brilhante Dias, from the PS, João Moura Rodrigues, from the PSD, Rui Paulo Sousa, from Chega, and Pedro Filipe Soares, from BE, as follows: “one socialist, one from the left wing bloc, one social democrat and the other – how can I put it? – from a right-wing party”.

Before an audience of teachers, students and businessmen of various nationalities, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa presented Portugal as a country that “is ahead” when it comes to sustainability and where there is “a kind of national agreement on this matter between parties”.

“There is a political continuity of different governments, it started with a left-wing government, a right-wing government continued on the same path and now a left-wing government has followed that same path”, he said, adding: “we are not going to change”.

According to the President of the Republic, the policies followed in Portugal are not only the result of “the opinion of various academics”, they correspond to the “position of public opinion” on decarbonisation and energy transition, oceans and biodiversity.

“There is a national consensus on this matter,” he said.

At the exit of this seminar, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa reiterated the understanding that there are no rifts between parties on this issue in Portugal, defending that “nobody doubts in Portugal that there is climate change” and “nobody doubts about the urgency of the problem”.

“No one doubts the need to find clean forms of energy. Nobody doubts about the need to accelerate this, the war in Ukraine has made it more evident. No one doubts the need for the protection of nature, the commitment to the oceans, which is a national commitment, to biodiversity, to scientific and technological research, to international cooperation,” he continued.

The head of state stressed that “there may be differences in certain specific aspects of policy definition, that is part of democracy”, and that with regard to concrete measures and timetables “there will be differences”.

“But, essentially, we have been united on the major goals, this has not divided parliament or the parties, on the major goals, inside and outside,” he reiterated.