The First Carbon Neutral Economy (by 2030)
André Marquet, April 2009 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are several proponents of carbonless economies
In Hot, Flat and Crowded, T.
Friedman proposes a bold
to have the US to lead an
agenda to fight global
• But critics say:
– Global warming is irreversible so don’t waste
your energies… doom day is coming.
– Even if global warming can be
tackled, Portugal is too small to make any
– Portugal can not do it alone…
First, the facts
• Portugal ranks in 68th place in top CO2
emissions per capita: each portuguese is
responsible for 5,6 tons of CO2/ year.
• Portugal is actually well placed in the
ranking, it is the best performer of Eurozone.
The worst is Luxembourg with 24,9 tons of
Qatar is in the 1st place of the
ranking with 69 ton/ year!
The USA is 10th place of the
ranking with 20 ton/ year!
CO2/ CH4 generation in 2010 in Portugal
Forest Fires; Accidental Processes
Transports fleet (cars, planes, boats)
• Forests represent the greatest natural
carbon sink in Portugal.
• At the same time, Forest fires are
responsible for the release of 10 to 30% of
the annual CO2 releases in Portugal.
All major car manufacturers are
launching electric autos in 2009.
THE PORTUGUESE ECONOMY IS
ESSENCIALLY NON INDUSTRIALIZED.
• France’s moto: “No coal, no oil, no choice”
– Allows for 80% of electricity generation;
– Represents 40% of total power consumption.
• The only countries
that do not have
nuclear power are:
– Ireland (considering
– Portugal (no plans);
– Greece (no plans);
– Austria (no plans);
– Estonia (joint
– Latvia (joint
– Poland (construction
due to begin in 2010);
– Italy (construction due
to begin in 2010);
• Only the re-building of decrepit buildings is
estimated to represent market of 17 bln Euros in
• Putting these reconstructed buildings in the market,
along with national construction contention strategies
would allow for thousands of people, especially young
couples to return to cities, living near to their working
palces, thus reducing commuting costs and overall
• TIP: Upgrade existing buildings to energetic efficiency
conditions represents a global market estimated in
several billion Euros, employing thousands of people
and effectively rescuing the SME construction sector.
“Green New Deal”
• Fleet of cars would have to converted into electric/
hybrid cars. This can be achieved in 10-15 years -
We need a “Portuguese Better Place.”
• Gas and electricty prices should start to
incorporate CO2 emission costs at market price -
gas taxes and others to support electric
• Consider A-L-L electricity generation power means
that do not release CO2 into the atmosphere.
Nuclear along others, should be on top of the
Benefits of CO2 Zero Economy
• Accelarate the entering of the Portugal into the “New
Economy” in which prices of products and services are
indexed to their carbon intensity.
• By converting the national fleet into electricity, Portugal
would create the necessary incentives for Portuguese
and International companies start investing into the
development of mechanical engineering companies.
• By promoting offshore wind power, and substituting
current coal and natural gas
• Re-open of Portuguese uranium mines in modern and
safe conditions would create thousands of jobs.
• A small sized country like Portugal would
benefict enourmously from a bold
commitment to green policies.
• International reputation and recognition
(benneficting from the fact that the country is
already known as a leader in wind power and
innovative alternative power schemes.)
• Direct GDP impact can be estimated at
double digit % by 2030.
• Promote an economic study by independent
experts to predict the impact of the de-carbonizing
the Portuguese economy by 2030.
• Begin by the state owned buildings (schools, military
facilities, government, etc) and convert them to eco-
• Give construction vouchers to the population so they
can reconvert existing private buildings into eco-
• Develop smart grids.
• Develop smart highways (auto-piloted cars!)
• Reconvert to electric based car-fleet.
• Consider nuclear, offshore eolic and micro-generation
mix to substitute first coal, then gas electricity
Why this can work
• Simply, because it has worked in the past. There
are several success stories of industry and
• During War World II, both capitalistic as soviet
style economies were able to construct gigantic
military industries in very short periods and re-
convert them back to civilian purposes after the
war, with enourmous added value, ex:
• Fridges factory becomes> Warplane factory that
becomes> Civilian transport airplane industry.
• It didn’t happened in 20 years. It happened in 10!
Until the late 1970’s whale
hunting was one the most
profitable businesses in the
It has been reconverted to another, much more
interesting (and sustainable):