More than 20 climate activists blocked the entrance to Galp’s headquarters in Lisbon this morning, protesting the role of oil companies in the climate crisis and cost of living crisis.
Some glued themselves to the glass walls of the building to “interrupt the regular criminal activity inside the company,” said Joao Camargo of Climaximo, the organization behind the protest.
Camargo said that the entrance was first blocked at 8.15 am. However, the police arrived at 10 am, later detaining three activists.
The protest sought to highlight “that companies like Galp and their multimillionaire profits are responsible for the rise of the cost of living in Portugal and the climate chaos… Companies like Galp need to be stopped”, said Camargo to Lusa.
Climaximo argues that the record high profits of Galp of 420 million in the first semester of 2022 are “directly related to the increase in prices and inflation.”
For these activists, “the increase in the cost of living all over the world is a consequence of a capitalist economy built to be addicted to fossil fuels.”
Moreover, Climaximo argues that European governments are “giving in to the blackmail of oil companies, and instead of speeding up to end fossil fuels, continue to subsidize this energy and build more infrastructure.”
Camargo also said that the activities at the protest today do not want to speak to those responsible for Galp, saying Climaximo “does not want any communication with companies that make the present and future worse.”
Climate Change & Fossil Fuels in Portugal
In December 2019, during the European Council meeting, EU President Ursula von der Leyen said, “Portugal is one of the countries most affected by climate change.”
Portugal is a climate hotspot, with the Mediterranean region projected to experience the greatest drying among 26 regions globally.
Portugal is showing a tendency towards more intense extreme weather events, such as heat waves and droughts. The increase in severity of drought, flooding, and wildfires is already having an impact on the population, as well as agriculture and the economy.
The country is still particularly reliant on imported fossil fuels, above the average of the EU with 65% of imports.
Due to around 70% reliance on fossil fuels, Portugal’s greenhouse gas emissions increase by 13% from 2014 to 2018. However, Portugal’s reliance on fossil fuels has decreased in recent decades, falling by 13% since 1990.
In 2020, Portugal was still behind the EU average of 71%, with only five countries falling below the 60% mark: Sweden (31%), Finland (41%), France (48%), Lithuania (57%), and Denmark (59%).