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2022-11-08 at 12h28

Portugal hosts International Wildland Fire Conference

Prime Minister António Costa with the UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the UN Climate Conference, Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt 8 November 2022

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced that Portugal will be hosting the International Wildland Fire Conference and another edition of the Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum in 2023. The announcement was made at the UN Climate Conference (COP27), in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt.

Wildland fires are "a reality that isn’t always addressed in this forum [climate conference], yet they are of the utmost importance to reduce emissions and for the forest’s capacity to fulfil its role of carbon capture".

It is estimated that 6% of the world’s CO2 emissions come from fires triggered by human causes and in more extreme years, this amount can represent 20%, he noted.

"Significant improvements in policies and the processes to prevent and extinguish fires are therefore an important contribution to reducing emissions and protecting forests. It is under this framework that in 2023 we will be hosting the 8th International Wildland Fire Conference in Portugal with the aim of setting up a reference for fire hazards and the governance model" to fight these fires.

António Costa also said that "sustainable ocean management is also crucial to our resilience to climate change. In this sense, I highlight the Sustainable Blue Economy Investment Forum, where pledges were made to a sum of 10 billion euros. Given the initiative’s success, we will hold a second edition in 2023".

Reducing emissions

The Prime Minister said that "Portugal cannot overlook its commitments" to reduce emissions. "Our targets are ambitious, but we have been able to meet them, and even bring some forward", alluding the entry into force of the new Climate Law, which was approved in the previous Government.

"We reiterate our goal to be carbon neutral by 2050, with the commitment to study how feasible it is to bring this forward to 2045. We managed to decommission our last coal-fuelled power stations two years earlier; they ceased to operate last year, and, despite the energy crisis, we will not be reactivating them", he said. 

He added that "we will continue to invest in renewables and we have the capability and ambition to go from being fossil fuel importers to clean energy exporters".

António Costa underlined that renewables "already account for 60% of the electricity consumed" in Portugal and the goal is "to reach 80% by 2026, adding that "we are also firm in our belief that green hydrogen and other renewable gases are the energies of the future. A few days back, we reached an agreement with France and Spain to create a green corridor to serve central Europe".


The Prime Minister that the UN Climate Conference held in an African country (Egypt) cannot overlook the responsibilities we all have in the global financing effort, namely, to offer responses to Africa’s problems.

Portugal has intensified cooperation for climate action and signed a pledge of 400 million euros with the African Development Bank "to support investment in Portuguese-speaking African countries, in priority sectors such as renewables".

Yet, the country intends to do more and, under the Portuguese Cooperation Strategy 2030 it will increase "by 25% our support to cooperation partners in this field", to a total sum of five million euros per annum.

The Economy

António Costa also said that "we believe that the fair green transition can be synonymous with economic growth and prosperity. But above all it is a moral imperative: as leaders, we owe it to our populations, the rest of the world and future generations".

The climate emergency "is a crisis that already affects the world" and "the drama of the war in Ukraine cannot turn our focus away from the urgency in responding to the challenges of climate change".

"In fact, the consequences of this war have shown how necessary i tis to speed up the green transition and curb dependence on fossil fuels. We are all affected by the staggering rise in energy prices due to the war, forcing millions into a situation of energy poverty", he said.

Portugal, "which began the investment in renewables more than 15 years ago", "is an example on how investing early on in the transition ensures less dependence and greater energy security".


The Prime Minister underlined that "we cannot step back on our commitments. We must leave Sharm el-Sheikh with a clear vision that allows us to obtain results in the issues of mitigating funding, including the adaptation and revision of national contributions. This effort must be led by the developed countries and the countries with the highest emissions".

On a political level, "multilateral dialogue is fundamental to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and find the answers to tackle the global challenges".

"Together, we can walk towards carbon neutral societies. Societies that are resilient to the impacts of climate change. Societies that manage resources in an efficient, circular and sustainable way. Societies powered by renewables and based on a just transition principle. This is the society Portugal wishes to build", he further noted.

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