Algarve against Oil

The background

  •   Aljezur, Algarve, Portugal

Oil companies have been vying for the chance to get at reserves of oil and natural gas off the Algarve coast for years, but for various reasons they haven’t managed it.

Now, just as the world is waking up to the reality of climate change, the need to switch to renewable energies, the Portuguese government has decided to push ahead with fossil fuel exploration.

The Algarve will be first, followed almost instantly by onshore drilling in the interior further north.

No Oil and Gas in Algarve

The government has made deals with oil companies from all over the world which on paper give almost nothing to the State, and even less to local communities affected.

Citizens movements, councils, eco-groups, business organisations, they are all against changing the focus of this tiny country that relies so much on attracting tourism, but for reasons no lay person can understand, the government has said “the contracts are legal, they must be allowed to go ahead”.

Court actions have been lodged, experts have warned of the devastating effects to flora, fauna, the environment we love so much, but again ‘no results’: the government insists the exploration of oil and natural gas in a country known for its agriculture, clean air and natural landscapes “is the future”.

Petitions with thousands of signatures desperately trying to change this status quo appear also to have stood for nothing.

We are not even sure the authorities will allow an environmental impact study before drilling 3.5 kms down in the ocean, or before sinking wells around rural communities in Aljubarrota and pumping thousands of gallons of water mixed with chemicals into hydraulic fracturing.

Our beautiful country is being attacked, and we have to get this message out into the international community.

We need your help. Can you spare the time to write a few words about how you feel about the plans for your holiday destination? We will do the rest. We are fighting to save our country from bad decisions which will compromise the lives of coming generations. Embracing a dying polluting unsustainable industry is NOT the way forwards. We mean to fight these plans that have been forced upon us with no meaningful ‘public participation’ right up to the very last moment. Your help could swing the balance. Please take the time to write a few words.

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