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Cars and mobility greatest challenges in Lisbon’s fight against climate change

Blog Cars and mobility greatest challenges in Lisbon’s fight against climate change
The Mayor of Lisboa praised Lisboa’s new cycle paths as a success at the last Web Summit while stating that cars and mobility pose the greatest challenges in combating climate change. 
In 2020, Lisboa was awarded the title of European Green Capital 2020, acknowledging the city’s efforts in moving towards a more sustainable future. Lisboa’s bicycle subsidy scheme, which Fernando Medina claims has been a “promising experience”,  illustrates these efforts.

Lisboa City Council launched a 3 million euros subsidy programme last year which sets a 1.5 million to support the purchase of conventional bicycles, as well as 1 million euros allocated to e-bikes and 0,5 million euros to cargo bikes. This year, the program was extended to support also companies, and to include vouchers for bicycle repairment and for accessories.

“Our biggest challenge is mobility”

During his speech, the mayor stressed the importance of developing a circular economy to mitigate the impacts of climate change. He also emphasized the importance of incentivising the use of public transports and the expansion of the city’s cycle paths network, but admitted that there is still some resistance in Portugal and in the rest of Europe: “We have a problem with cars. This is a reality everywhere”.  

In Lisboa, every shared bicycle is used 10 times per day, but it is still not considered the first choice of transport, and in 70% of the cases, it is used only for short trips during the peak hours. “I’m looking forward to hearing more good ideas on this topic” added Medina. 

Lisboa’s mayor also underlined the immense potential of renewable energies for the whole country, having the highest daily sun exposure in Europe. Portugal is currently counting on thousands of micro energy producers for their own energy production, and the network keeps expanding. Lisboa took part in the development of this network by investing in renewable energy infrastructure for 25.000 houses that belong to the municipality. 

“In many dimensions, the life we live is not sustainable. If we act in a timely manner, we can make a difference” concluded F. Medina. 


By Nolwen Graver
30th of Mar, 2021