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Climate change is one of greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, acknowledges Alonso Miguel

Climate change is one of greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, acknowledges Alonso Miguel

Oct. 26, 2023

The Regional Secretary for the Environment and Climate Change, Alonso Miguel, acknowledged today that climate change "is an urgent issue of the utmost relevance and, undoubtedly, represents one of the greatest challenges humanity has ever faced, with global repercussions and significant impacts on the most diverse sectors of activity."

The government official stated that there are potential impacts on areas such as agriculture, fisheries, tourism, construction, transport and industry, with climate change exerting "increasing pressure on communities, natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems."

Alonso Miguel spoke at the Coliseu Micaelense in Ponta Delgada during an international conference organised by the Regional Government on climate change.

"Indeed, action is urgently needed to mitigate the negative effects of climate change, so as to guarantee environmental sustainability, the preservation of our resources and the necessary living conditions on the planet, while also ensuring this right for forthcoming generations," continued the Regional Secretary.

This "enormous challenge" requires, as Alonso Miguel defends, "a firm and coordinated response at an institutional level, but it also entails a commitment to the responsibility on the part of citizens and civil society as a whole to change attitudes and consumption habits, so as to ensure a much-needed paradigm shift."

He continued: "It is in this context that the European Union has been outlining a coordinated strategy for its member states, which incorporates the priority of implementing policies and actions aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as the establishment of greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to which countries must commit in order to ensure a cost-effective, socially balanced and equitable green transition."

The contribution of the Azores to global warming, as he pointed out, "is small, but that does not mean" that the Region will not be "severely" affected by this phenomenon.

"The effects of climate change in the Azores are already very evident, particularly in terms of the increase in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather phenomena, cyclone activity and periods of excessive and prolonged rainfall, which cause floods and inundations, slope movements and coastal overtopping. These changes also affect the runoff of watercourses, causing enormous material and financial damage and jeopardising the safety of people and property," he said.

The government official emphasised this in a key message at the conference: "We cannot avoid our responsibility to contribute to mitigating this phenomenon, which affects us all, and to collaborate in the achievement of the goals set by the country and at EU level, such as those set for the progressive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the achievement of carbon neutrality, as established within the framework of the European Green Deal. However, in addition to our efforts to mitigate climate change, we must all be prepared to adjust ourselves to this phenomenon, which will continue to affect us for a long time.

Alonso Miguel then presented the various initiatives of the Regional Secretariat for the Environment and Climate Change to mitigate this scenario. He pointed out that these are fundamental to "increasing the production of renewable energy and reducing the use of fossil fuels, decarbonising the electricity and transport sectors, reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with relevant economic sectors such as agriculture, and increasing the carbon sequestration capacity of the atmosphere."

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