by Carla Andrea Fundarotto
Portugal has officially said goodbye to coal by also shutting down the last Pego power plant, about 150 km north-east of Lisbon.
With the closure of the last plant still active in the country, which took place on 20 November, the Iberian country became the fourth state in the European Union to no longer depend on this fossil fuel for the production of electricity.
An important step, with which the country becomes the fourth in Europe to be “carbon free”, after Belgium, Austria and Sweden.
How negatively did this plant affect the environment?
The plant, responsible for 4% of national emissions, was the second plant in the country in terms of carbon dioxide emissions in the last ten years, immediately after the thermoelectric plant in Sines, which closed last January. In absolute terms, the average annual emissions of greenhouse gases from the Pego plant between 2008 and 2019 were 4.7 million tons of carbon dioxide.
The path that led to this decision
The Iberian country’s decision comes nine years before the deadline established following the measure announced by the European Commission, which feared a subpoena accusing the country of not having taken enough measures regarding poor air quality.
A journey, which began in 2017, during COP23, an occasion in which Lisbon committed itself to clean up its electricity and energy mix from coal by 2030. And since then it has been a continuous acceleration.
What other countries are following the carbon-free road?
Currently 21 European countries have completed the phase out or have announced a date. These include Great Britain, Greece, Hungary and Denmark.