Between 2015 and 2020, the Portuguese economy managed to reduce energy consumption by 10%, reaching 8th place in the Green Transition Index report, which analyzes the environmental performance of 29 countries
The Portuguese economy is the 8th in Europe that most reduced primary energy consumption, according to the Green Transition Index, recently released by global strategy consultant Oliver Wyman that analyzes the environmental performance of 29 countries including those in the European Union and the United Kingdom.
If, by one hand, Portugal stood out in terms of energy and buildings, on the other hand, it fell short of expectations in terms of waste management and nature protection, being “thrown” to the bottom of a table led by the Netherlands and Denmark.
In practical terms, this document points out that in terms of greenhouse gases, the Portuguese economy was responsible for releasing 308 tons of polluting gases into the atmosphere in 2020. Global strategy consultant Oliver Wyman adds that between 2015 and 2020, which means in only 5 years, Portugal managed to reduce its energy consumption by 10%. The report also indicates that the average in the remaining economies analyzed, in terms of reduced energy consumption, is 6%.
The Green Transition Index is a report that analyzes different variants: manufacturing industry, economy, buildings, transport, waste, energy and nature. Each category receives a score, the average of which originates an overall classification. Portugal reached 18th in the table, with a score of 48/100, being, for example, 4 places behind Spain.
Environmental sustainability issues
The emphasis on the Portuguese economy and consequently the 10% reduction in energy consumption between 2015 and 2020 can be explained, according to consultant Oliver Wyman, by the fact that Portugal stands out in terms of the size of green hydrogen projects in relation to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), combined with the capacity to maintain storage projects related to batteries and also with the effective weight of renewable energies and biofuels in electricity production.
In terms of buildings, Portugal ranks well (in second place in this specific category) and alongside Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. The Green Transition Index explains that in this country renewable energies are used for domestic heating and also that there is a low consumption of electricity per capita. However, in terms of sustainability, namely in the construction of buildings, Portugal is “dragged” back to the middle of the table, occupying 19th place.
As for waste management, the analyzed data fall far short of expectations, as, among the 29 countries analyzed, Portugal ranks among the worst in terms of nature conservation and is considered one of the countries that generates the most domestic waste.
Regarding sustainability issues, led by Europe in relation to the rest of the world but at different paces, Pepa Chiarri, director of the Oliver Wyman consultancy – responsible for the Green Transition Index – for Climate and Sustainability comments: “Due to the enormous needs of capital, it is plausible that richer countries are more advanced in terms of environmental sustainability. In fact, when analyzing the relationship between the wealth of a country, which is measured by GDP per capita (Gross Domestic Product), and its performance and classification in the Green Transition Index, it is clearly concluded that the richest countries, and consequently with financial capacity to invest in the transition, tend to score higher than countries with lower economic performance”.