Environment: a source of future economic growth in Portugal


11/04/2011 - Despite Portugal’s economic and political challenges, it is still committed to improving the environment. The government sees green investment in its stimulus package and green tax reform as part of the solution to the national budget deficit.

Over the last decade, Portugal has made important progress in protecting the environment, improving the quality of air and water, the way it treats waste, and protecting large areas of land under the EU Natura 2000 scheme.

The OECD’s Environmental Performance Review of Portugal highlights Portugal’s environmental achievements and makes 28 recommendations for further improvement, including that more be done to make environmental and economic policies mutually supportive.

Air and climate and waste generation


Greening growth through renewable energy

Traditionally dependent on imported oil and coal, Portugal is now on track to achieve its target of 45% of gross electricity consumption to be met by renewables – largely hydropower, wind and solar. Read more


Renewable energy is helping Portugal improve its energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create jobs.  However, the economic and environmental implications of these projects should be carefully scrutinised, and the public should be fully involved in decision-making. Renewable energy policies must be combined with policies to reduce demand for energy, particularly in the transport, residential and commercial sectors.


Managing coastal zones and the marine environment is not easy

The ecologically sensitive Atlantic coast is critical to Portugal’s welfare – three quarters of the population lives near the ocean and sea-side tourism is big business. Portugal has developed an integrated coastal zone management plan, reformed the institutional framework, and introduced a mix of regulatory, economic and investment measures.
However, lack of co-ordination amongst government agencies and conflicting interests of municipalities makes it difficult to implement these coastal zone policies. The OECD recommends that Portugal applies a wider range of economic instruments to provide better incentives for more effective management of coastal zones, including raising revenues to support these efforts.

For more on the findings of the Environmental Performance Review of Portugal, click here.

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For further information about the OECD’s work on the environment go to:;


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