REPORT: The Portuguese government plans to consume the entire carbon budget between 2026 and 2035.

Climáximo, climate justice collective based in Lisbon, analyzed the new IPCC report and the government’s climate policies (namely, the commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050 and the National Energy and Climate Plan 2030).

We explain all our calculations in our new report “Orçamento de Carbono vs. Políticas Climáticas: Quanto tempo ainda temos?” (Carbon Budget vs. Climate Policies: How much time is left?).

Our results show that, if the government would follow-up strictly with its own commitments, if we assume that the next seven governments would also respect and execute them, if we believe that the suggested cuts are real (and not some accounting tricks) and if we expect to be lucky (that is to say, if we by chance remain within the 67% probability calculated by the IPCC), then the carbon budget of Portugal for a 1.5ºC warming would end between 2026 and 2035 – if it did not end already – , which means shutting down the entire economy.

The deadline depends on the technical assumptions on the carbon budget itself and on which principle is applied to distribute the budget among countries. The progressive principles (“greenhouse development rights”) give negative budgets already; we used more mainstream principles like “equal emissions per capita” and “equal cumulative emissions per capita”.

We thus show that current political realism and the physical reality of the climate crisis are not reconcilable. In other words, the current climate policies are expressly denialist.

We therefore reach two main conclusions:

1. There is an urgent need to tell the truth about the current climate policies and their meaning in relation to climate science.

2. To avoid climate chaos, bigger, sustained and more radical mobilizations will be necessary in the following years.

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You can find the report and the calculation sheet here (both in Portuguese).

If you would like to replicate similar calculations for your government’s climate policies but need some general guidelines, please do contact us.

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