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Lisbon prepares for ecological transformation

The city was named European Green Capital 2020 precisely because of its ability to evolve, according to officials

  • December 10, 2019 19:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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Back in 2018, Lisbon became the first Portuguese city to earn the European Green Capital award. The capital was rewarded for its stellar achievements in sustainability, health and environment protection.

A city that changes

Now the time has finally arrived for local authorities to demonstrate that Lisbon has more than earned the award. According to member of the City Council for the environment José Sá Fernandes, the city was not chosen because it was the most environmentally friendly – rather because it had proven its ability to evolve and adapt.

To prove his claim, during a presentation on the programme for the Lisbon European Green Capital 2020, he showcased data on how the city had changed over the past couple of decades.

  • Between 2004 and 2017, the local government of Lisbon has reduced its water consumption by 46%, while the city itself achieved a reduction of 33%
  • Carbon dioxide emissions have been reduced by 42% between 2002 and 2016, already far exceeding the 2020 climate targets.
  • Recycling rate has jumped to 34% in the city, while the rate of selective collection has skyrocketed to 28%. According to officials only between 1% and 3% of local waste is sent to landfills.

Lisbon’s ability to change is what makes it stand apart from other urban areas, according to officials.

The mayor of Lisbon, Fernando Medina, intends to use the European Green Capital 2020 award to further the city’s climate ambitions. “We are not going to use the award for a vanity ride, but to pull on this sustainability agenda that is absolutely critical today”, he stated.

Among the City Council’s landmark initiatives are a planned reduction of CO2 emissions by 60% by 2030, achieving carbon neutrality by 2050 and the planting of over 100,000 trees by 2021. Furthermore, the participatory budget of the local government now only accepts “green proposals” in order to promote environmentally friendly thinking among its citizens.



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