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Are the Azores environmentally sustainable?

Are the Azores environmentally sustainable? - portugal news
Are the Azores environmentally sustainable? - Portugal Business News

Portugal environment news - Are the Azores environmentally sustainable?


The Portuguese Azores islands are located in the North Atlantic Ocean at around 1,400 km west of Lisbon and the archipelago is part of Macaronesia. The capital of the Azores islands, Ponta Delgada, is located on São Miguel Island, that has only 135,000 inhabitants.


The Azores islands are famous for looking incredibly green all year round and for their picture-perfect blue and green lakes in the crater of a dormant volcano on São Miguel Island.


Since the Azores are an autonomous region of Portugal, they are part of the EU, and the Azores Carbon Neutrality Roadmap is 100% funded by the EU under the REACT-EU program that establishes a strategic vision for a cost-effective and economically viable roadmap.


Although the Azores archipelago only has a residual impact on global warming, it is vulnerable to the effects of climate change and is therefore accountable for implementing mitigation measures. The Azores are vulnerable to hurricanes, as seen by the trail of destruction left by hurricane Lorenzo in 2019, that caused damage estimated at around 330 million euros.


What are the carbon neutrality measures implemented by the Azores?

The Azores islands are therefore implementing measures to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and the roadmap is divided into the following sectors, namely Transport, Agriculture and Forestry, Energy, Waste, and Wastewater.


In the Transport sector, the Azores islands are implementing Green measures such as the use of biofuels and the electrification of land transport. Other measures include the use of hydrogen for heavy goods transport, sustainable fuels in aviation, the electrification of the inter-island aircraft fleet and the improvement of efficiency for sea ​​transportation.


In the Agriculture and Forestry sector, the Portuguese archipelago will replace the use of synthetic fertilizers with organic fertilizers, while planning the forestation of 10% of the total area of ​​the Azores. Other Green measures include the supplementation of dairy cows' feed to reduce methane emissions and reducing the number of cows by 1% by 2040.


In the Energy sector, the Azores islands are implementing Green measures such as the production of electricity without using fossil fuels. The Azores will use green energy from different sources including wind, geothermal, solar as well as from waste, while promoting energy efficiency.


In the Waste sector, the goal of the Azores islands is zero landfill, and this will be achieved by using biological and mechanical treatment systems, as well as methane capture systems in pre-existing landfills. This includes energy recovery from domestic and industrial waste, as well as the production of organic compounds for the agricultural sector.


Finally, in the Wastewater sector, the Azores islands are implementing measures such as the use of nitrification and denitrification systems for urban wastewater treatment plants to reduce methane emissions, as well as the gradual replacement of septic tanks with aerobic wastewater treatment systems.


The Portuguese Azores autonomous region is part of Portugal’s representation at the UN Climate Change conference for the COP meetings.




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