Does Lisbon deserve to be Green Capital 2020?
Lisbon is the 2020 European Green Capital. The title is awarded by the EU Commission to cities it deems to be taking an exemplary approach to combining environmental protection, quality of life and economic growth. Portuguese media discuss whether the city deserves the title, and what it can do for the country.
This capital is not really green
Jornal Económico considers it absurd that Lisbon is to be Europe's Green Capital:
“It's impossible to understand why Lisbon wants to be Europe's Green Capital in 2020 when at the same time political decisions are being taken that go in the opposite direction. The expansion of Portela airport, which generates noise and emissions that are damaging to the health of people living in Lisbon and Loures, is jeopardising the achievement of national greenhouse gas emission targets. Another example is the cruise terminal, which accounts for ten percent of the country's total emissions and emits 3.5 times more sulphur dioxide than all the cars in Lisbon put together. A capital that does not address these issues is wrong to call itself green.”
Portugal can forge ahead now
The title for Lisbon could give the Portuguese economy the boost it needs, tax lawyer Nuno Sampayo Ribeiro comments in Público:
“The transition is a task for society as a whole, and the financial system - and in particular the banking system - plays a key role. Because as the UN has pointed out it is the capital they allocate today that will shape the ecosystems, industries and consumer behaviour of tomorrow. ... So the title of European Green Capital for Lisbon is an opportunity to mobilise Portuguese society in the transition to a greener, more sustainable and integrative economy.”