There are 183 signatures with a collective commitment from now on: the defence of the present and future of the planet regarding climate changes. Porto Climate Pact, under the High patronage of the President of the Portuguese Republic, was officially launched this Friday afternoon, at Casa do Roseiral. In a ceremony attended by the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action, the Municipality of Porto took the lead by example.
Praising the commitment made by entities from different areas like the academia, justice, education, industry, telecommunications, construction, transport, non-governmental organizations, the third sector, sports, science, health or culture, Rui Moreira has no doubt that “It is time to act and to take disruptive and visionary, ambitious and transformative actions, that drastically minimize greenhouse gas emission and allow us to continue to believe in a better world for our children and grandchildren”.
In addition to driving the Climate Pact, the city of Porto immediately begins to lead by example, with the announcement of a package of incentives that include the reduction of the IMI (real estate tax) value to be paid by the property owners who invest in the energy production of renewable, namely in the installation of photovoltaic panels. Municipal support, which is around eight million euros by 2023, should directly contribute to the energy transition of around two thousand installations, capable to produce around 23 MW.
Added to this initiative is the investment of six million euros for the production of six MW of clean energy on the roofs of the municipal housing park, where almost 30 thousand people live, one of the actions created to fight energy poverty, such as the rehabilitation of the municipal buildings, which has already contributed to improving the energy efficiency of the homes by 45%.
The Mayor of Porto also said that the city will support new Renewable Energy Communities, following the example of Asprela, namely in the Bairro Agra do Amial, where clean energy will be produced for 181 houses and a school, and continue with the electrification of the fleet from the Sociedade de Transportes Coletivos do Porto (STCP), noting that “the transition we want to happen has public transport as one of its main bets”. Another municipal field of action is – and will be – in the replacement of more than 26 thousand lamps in the city for LED technology, “until we reach 100% of public lights”, assures the mayor, who, with this action hopes to “reduce the consumption of energy on public roads to less than half, greenhouse gas emission, as well as annual costs of more than one million euros”.
Aware that “this serious energy crisis has made life difficult for the people of Porto and their families”, Rui Moreira assumes that “we have to know how to respond, without jeopardizing the advances made in environmental terms.”
The city calls everyone to be a leader in climate action
At the public launch ceremony of the Pact, the mayor also announced the launch, this Friday, of Porto Energy Hub. Available at Gabinete do Munícipe and through the website, it aims to provide families and companies with the necessary information to reduce their energy costs through the implementation of energy efficiency actions and decentralized production of renewable energy.
“We assume that we want Porto to be the leading city in climate action at the national level and, with that, to bring forward the carbon neutrality to the year 2030, assuring a reduction of greenhouse gases in the order of 85% and a guarantee of carbon capture in the order of 15%”, recalled Rui Moreira, referring to how the relevance of the work already carried out “enabled the distinction of the European Commission for Porto to take part in the restricted batch of 100 European cities in the Mission “climate-neutral and smart cities”. However, and because “achieving carbon neutrality by 2030 is not a simple goal”, the mayor knows that “we cannot walk this path alone”. Also, because the Municipality is responsible for only 6% of the total gas emissions. Therefore, Porto Climate Pact “is a commitment of everyone, a commitment of the city with the future”.
“We took on this challenge aware of the climate urgency and that all the changes that we can make in the city, in addition to the obvious environmental benefits, represent an opportunity for competitiveness, employment, social justice and the resilience of Porto”, reinforced Rui Moreira.
So that the signing of the document is not just a symbolic act, the Municipality of Porto will have a team fully dedicated to “ensuring the implementation of projects, not only creating a large community of learning, sharing and mutual support, but above all leveraging investment, discovering opportunities and looking for the right partners for the dynamics we need to implement”, said the mayor.
Incentives to municipalities in solar energy
Recognizing the importance of Porto Climate Pact, the Minister for the Environment and Climate Action made a point of “valuing the example that Porto sets throughout the country, not only by assuming its goals – which are very ambitious – but also by all the work it is carrying out to fulfil these goals, for its ability to mobilize all the agents of a city, sharing what is the responsibility, but also of a common destiny”.
Duarte Cordeiro took the opportunity to announce some future actions by the Government in the environmental area, including an incentive for solar energy of 13.500 euros for each megavolt-ampere installed in the municipalities, through the Environmental Fund.
“This means betting on, valuing, appreciating all the work that is being done at the level of energy communities, and in particular by the municipalities”, said the minister, adding the desire to “be partners with the municipalities in accelerating the protection of energy communities”.
“To grow economically, it is not necessary to pollute, it only takes a sense of belonging to the community, innovation and environmental responsibility “, said the Minister.
Anyone who wants to make the commitment can join the Porto Climate Pact
The Porto Climate Pact is voluntary, non-binding and free of charge. Any person or organization, regardless of size, prior action or legal entity, that wants to establish and share real actions to reduce emissions; involve their networks in the process of reducing GHG emission from Porto; cooperate with local and national governments to define an enabling framework; and monitor and report the progress of actions implemented to reduce emissions, can add their signature.
On the first day of validity, the Pact has partners like Altice, Bial, Boavista Futebol Clube, Centro Hospitalar Universitário do Porto, Centro Hospitalar Universitário São João, EDP, Federação Académica do Porto, Futebol Clube do Porto, GALP, Jerónimo Martins, Museu Soares dos Reis, NOS, Politécnico do Porto, Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, Serralves, SONAE, STCP, Universidade do Porto, among others.