Economy and Environment

As economies grow, they tend to use more resources - both renewable biological resources and non-renewable stocks of minerals, metals and fossil fuels. Driven by industrial and technological development and changes to consumption patterns, resource extraction has increased 10 times since 1900 and can double again by 2030.

Promoting the adoption of more sustainable economic models is essential in a world of limited resources and ecosystems. The aim is to achieve the desired dissociation between economic development and environmental impacts, between production of goods and use of resources.

Environmental taxes are designed to promote the rational use of natural resources and to oppose environmental pressures by including the costs of services and environmental damages directly into the prices of the goods, services and activities that are at the origin. This contributes to the integration of environmental policies into economic policies by applying the user-pays principle.

Economic projects whose implementation may have consequences for the environment are also subject to a preventive evaluation with public participation, whose objective is the collection of information, identification and forecast of the environmental impacts of these projects, as well as the identification and proposal of measures to prevent, minimize or offset these impacts.

On the other hand, companies that promote sustainable and environmentally friendly practices can see their good environmental performance recognised by applying environmental management instruments such as the European Union Ecolabel, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme or the Environmental Management System ISO 14001.

Good environmental performance is also associated with innovation, which can be measured by investment in research and development in the search for more efficient technologies and products in the use of resources. This may lead to the submission of national or international patent applications.

Fact sheets

  • Domestic material consumption
    The "Domestic material consumption" fact sheet presents the amount of natural resources consumed by an economy as well as the productivity of these materials in terms of GDP. It also analyses Portugal's position compared to the other Member States of the European Union.
  • Environmental taxes
    The "Environmental taxes" fact sheet lists the value of taxes levied on goods and services that have a potential negative impact on the environment. It also analyses their distribution by category, as well as Portugal's position compared to the EU.
  • Environmental Management Tools
    The "Environmental Management Tools" fact sheet addresses the compliance with environmental management systems as well as with the European Union Ecolabel, reporting on the number of organisations that have implemented environmental management systems in accordance with ISO 14001 or the European Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), and companies that have products certified with the EU Ecolabel.
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
    The "Environmental Impact Assessment" fact sheet provides information on the environmental assessment of public and private projects that are likely to have significant effects on the environment.
  • Strategic environmental assessment
    The "Strategic Environmental Assessment" factsheet provides information on national plans and programs whose implementation may have significant effects on the environment and which have consequently been subject to an environmental assessment procedure.
  • "Green" patents
    The "Green Patents" fact sheet monitors the number of national patent applications as well as the number of national validations of European patents granted, whose subject matter can be considered as 'green' or 'environmentally friendly.'