Portugal: NGOs call on president to ensure implementation of Basic Climate Law | MACAU NEWS AGENCY



A group of non-governmental organisations in Portugal on Tuesday called on the country’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to take action to ensure that the Basic Climate Law, which was approved at the end of 2021 but none of whose articles is as yet being respected, is finally enforced.

In a letter to the head of state to which Lusa has had access, the 13 environmental organisations warn that “inaction of the Portuguese state is especially reprehensible at a time of obvious worsening of the climate emergency.

“The Basic Climate Law constitutes a number of positive obligations in the legal sphere of the state, the fulfilment of which is absolutely fundamental to the success of climate action in Portugal,” the text states, with the environmentalists going on to accuse the Portuguese state of failing to comply with legislation that it itself approved.

At issue, the letter stresses, are the delays in publishing various measures that should have been finalised by February 2023, such as the “creation of carbon budgets, which should guide national policy and the economy” as well as the “creation of the Climate Action Portal” and a “Climate Impact Assessment Report of Current Legislation” and other issues such as an analysis of public assets, the “climate risk of financial assets” or the “revision of the legal regime for hydrocarbons.

“To date, none of these instruments have been created, which puts the Portuguese state in effective breach of its implementation duties under the Basic Law,” the environmentalists warn.

The lack of sectoral plans to implement the basic law is another criticism levelled by the associations, which call on the president to “intervene with the government and the Assembly of the Republic” on this issue.

“The lack of implementation of the Basic Climate Law constitutes not only a failure of the rule of law and representative democracy, but also a violation of the fundamental rights of Portuguese citizens,” they write.

The letter is signed by Associação Último Recurso; Academia Cidadã; Ambiente em Zonas Uraníferas (AZU); Associação de Defesa do Património, Ambiental e Cultural de Santa Iria da Azóia (ADPAC); Associação Dunas Livres; Climação Centro; Extinction Rebellion; Movimento PELO TEJO (Protejo); Plataforma Anti-Transporte de Animais Vivos (PATAV); Quercus (National Association for Nature Conservation); Rede para o Decrescimento; Associação de Ciências Marinhas e Cooperação (SCIAENA)) and SOS Racismo Porto.

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