The Algarve association Sciaena is one of the three that will take the Portuguese State to court for failing to apply the Basic Climate Law. For Ana Matias, the «urgency is so great» that «we don't understand» why this delay.
In statements to the Sul Informação, This Sciaena official explained that the invitation to participate in this legal action came from the proponent: the Último Recurso association.
«We were very pleased because we are the only association focused on the marine environment that is part of it. The other is Quercus,” he added.
In a statement released this Monday, November 27th, the three organizations claim that the State failed to comply with the Climate Basic Law itself.
«Although the law has been in force for two years, little progress has been made to achieve the objectives outlined and the deadlines established. The Government's negligence in enacting new regulations, including a carbon budget, a climate action portal, a national energy and climate plan and sectoral mitigation plans, is especially reprehensible in the wake of extreme temperatures and unprecedented damage experienced in the country », reads this document.
The Climate Basic Law provided that, by February this year, measures such as the creation of carbon budgets, an assessment report on the climate impact of current legislation, an analysis of public assets and the climate risk of assets should be completed. financial resources or the review of the legal regime for hydrocarbons.
Having exhausted all non-judicial means, including requests for meetings with political parties and an open letter to the President of the Republic, Associação Último Recurso, represented by lawyer Ricardo Sá Fernandes, decided to bring a civil action against the State at the Civil Court of Lisbon – the first climate litigation process in Portugal.
Francisca Costa, coordinator of the Department of Advocacy from Último Recurso, questions the Government’s lack of response regarding the Climate Basic Law.
«What evidence does the Government need most to act in accordance with the urgency of the climate crisis? Every deadline we miss in implementing this Law increases the likelihood of catastrophic climate events and exceeding the internationally established 1,5°C limit. Portugal is one of the European countries most vulnerable to the climate crisis and we cannot let the 1.5 ºC target slip", he says.
With this action, Ana Matias, from Sciaena, explains that the associations want to understand why the Law is not being complied with. “There were constraints, such as the pandemic, but the urgency is so great that we don’t understand it.”
From the Government's side, the answer is that the Law is being complied with... «in what is essential».
In a response sent to Lusa, the Ministry of Environment and Climate Action considered that «there are results, also recognized internationally, aligned with the central objectives of the Climate Base Law».
Furthermore, he defended the protection, «materially, in what is essential, the deadlines are being met».
Furthermore, the Ministry also highlighted the fact that Portugal is “one of the most advanced countries in the European Union in terms of climate transition” and that, in the PRR, “more than 40% of the funds are dedicated to objectives” related to this topic.