Porto, June 14 (Lusa) – Portugal’s programme to improve energy efficiency in central government buildings has started up with the help of €54.5 million of European Union funds, with a second phase open to applications for which a further €100 million is available, the minister for environment, João Matos Fernandes, said on Wednesday.
Such efficiency programmes are “very important for the country”, stressed the minister, who was speaking in Porto, where he was presenting projects approved in this field for the city’s polytechnic and cancer treatment institute.
According to Matos Fernandes, 26 projects were approved in all, “almost all for hospitals and university institutions”, which are to receive €54.4 million in EU funds that are “already approved”.
Meanwhile, “a second notice” has been put out about “a further 100 million euros from the cohesion fund to invest in the energy efficiency of public administration building”.
The minister stressed that “Portugal has very clear commitments under the Paris Accord” on climate change. While describing that agreement as “excellent”, he said that it “will not make it possible to achieve what is wanted at the end of the century”, even if all signatories do what they have committed to.
“We will have a temperature increase of around three degrees” Celsius, he said. “So each country each year has to renew its ambition.”
Portugal’s government recently approved a resolution setting new targets for carbon reduction by 2050, he noted. The ultimate aim, the minister added, is to define a decarbonised society that can generate enough energy while using only a fraction of primary resources, so emitting much less greenhouse gases.
In the meantime, Portugal “wants to get to 2020 with sixty percent of energy consumed coming from renewable sources,” he said – adding that he had no doubts about this goal but improving energy efficiency is key to achieving it. As a result, the government is committed to reducing energy consumption in the public administration by 30% by 2020.
AC/ARO // ARO.
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