Climate Change Policy Networks in Portugal

Monday, 11 July 2016: 09:40
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Luisa SCHMIDT, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal
Ana DELICADO, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon, Portugal
2015 is another crucial year for climate negotiations. The Conference of Parts in Paris, at the end of the year, is yet another opportunity to reach a global deal on lowering carbon emissions and addressing climate change adaptation. Climate change is thus again on the international agenda and a policy priority for governments and stakeholders across the globe.

This paper will present the results of the survey conducted in Portugal in September-October 2015 within the international research project Comparing Climate Change Policy Networks (Compon). This survey of close to 80 policy actors and stakeholders allows us to build a network analysis of the connections between them, as well as collect information on their actions and opinions regarding climate change policy, its challenges and opportunities.

Climate change policies in Portugal have been sparse and discontinuous, with low stakeholder engagement. EU pressure has been decisive to reach some progress, rather than the internal consistency of decisions. Kyoto targets (which allowed the country to increase its emissions) have been met, but more as a result of economic downturn than of political action. Mitigation still holds the policy focus, whereas adaptation remains largely as a statement of intentions. The results of this survey may prove useful to stimulate the debate and raise awareness for the need for public and stakeholder participation in decision making and for more inclusive governance, as well as to give rise to fruitful international comparisons.