Programme agreement signed for the Environment programme in Portugal

The programme agreement for the Portuguese Environment, Climate Change and Low-Carbon Economy programme was signed on 27 May 2019

Key information about the programme

  • The programme is operated by: General Secretariat of the Ministry of Environment in Portugal
  • The Donor Programme Partner in this programme is: Innovation Norway
  • The programme's objective is: Improved environmental status in ecosystems and reduced adverse effects of pollution and other human activities
  • The programme funding (excluding co-financing) amounts to 24 million Euros and is funded through the EEA Grants only

Why is the programme needed?

Quality of life, economic competitiveness, employment and security all rely on the natural capital of our ecosystems. The threats to the environment, human well-being as well as social and economic development caused by pollution, overexploitation of natural resources and climate change is global. However, the environmental and economic impact varies from continent to continent. Portugal is expected to experience the highest increase in temperatures in Europe. This will have consequences for the Portuguese economy and society. Forecasts estimate increased periods of drought increasing the chance of forest fires. Drought and forest fires also put increased pressure on Portugal’s water resources which impact the local economy in for instance in the agricultural sector. Environmental changes indicate a need for Portugal to address its resilience to long-term effects of climate change as well as implementing mitigation measures.

What will the programme achieve and who are the beneficiaries?

The programme aims to contribute to improving the environmental status and capacity to mitigate the causes and effects of climate change in Portugal through support to targeted needs:

  • Strengthening of Portugal’s preparedness for climate change: improved planning capacity and targeted local measures to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate is expected to lead to e.g. 43,000 tonnes of CO2-emissions reductions, adaptation plans developed for 30 municipalities and the restoration of habitats that have been destroyed in forest fires.
  • Support for developments towards a circular economy: the environmental and social impact and economic cost of human activities and climate change will be addressed by supporting measures that utilise the creation of sustainable livelihoods, businesses and jobs based on circular economy principles. This includes introducing a deposit-return system for plastic bottles and supporting increased resource efficiency, reuse and recycling in in the construction sector.
  • Protection of Biosphere Reserves (protected areas): the programme will support enhanced capacity for sustainable development in several of Portugal’s Biosphere Reserves through the development of implementation plans and training. The measures are expected to benefit over 300 000 people.

Overall the programme aims to recycle 20 000 tons of plastic through all supported measures, create 25 new jobs and increase the use of secondary materials by 15% in supported sectors.

How will the programme strengthen bilateral relations?

The programme contributes to strengthened bilateral relations between Portugal and the Donor States. Project partnerships will be facilitated through match-making events and activities in conjunction with launching of calls for proposals and be encouraged in call texts. The partnerships can result in mutual beneficial activities and long-lasting cooperation between the Donor States and Portugal.

Availability of funding through open calls

In addition to three pre-defined projects from the programme agreements, funds in this programme will be made available through the following open calls:

  • Call 1 on deposit-return solutions – fourth quarter 2019
  • Call 2 on circular economy in construction – 18 July 2019
  • Call 3 on biosphere reserves – fourth quarter 2019
  • Call 4 on low-carbon economy measures – first quarter 2020
  • Small Grant Scheme 1 on plastic in oceans – 18 July 2019
  • Small Grant Scheme 2 on circular economy standards – 18 July 2019
  • Small Grant Scheme 3 on local adaptation of measures – third quarter 2019

Download the full programme agreement for more detailed information about the programme

More information can also be found on the Programme Operator's website and on the Donor Programme Partner's website: Innovation Norway