Portugal has now become the first country known to adopt a national air day, as yet another occasion for the strategy of combating pollution caused by car exhausts.
The initiative presented today by the Portuguese Environment Agency (APA) marks the beginning of an awareness campaign for air quality and recommends the use of electric or non-polluting mobility, involving several municipalities and regional coordination and development committees in a protocol of collaboration.
“The great urban pollutant comes from the exhaust pipes,” said the Environment Minister, João Pedro Matos Fernandes, advocating that “walking and using mass transportation as much as possible” are behaviours that can avoid the impacts of pollution on everyone’s health, especially respiratory diseases.
Environmentalist Francisco Ferreira, of Zero association, one of the partners of the protocol signed today, said that there are cases where air quality is “still bad“, indicating the examples of the Lisbon and Porto centres, where “50% annual limits “.
Zero defends “more ambition in the reduced emissions zones in Lisbon“, extending restrictions on the circulation of polluting cars and older cars, and “thinking of zones of zero emissions“, where you can only walk on foot or with electric vehicles.
The air quality monitoring network needs to be “remodelled to have better coverage and more efficient equipment,” environmentalists still complain.
The campaign “for a country with good air” includes ads with public figures such as singer Rui Veloso, actor Joaquim de Almeida, businessman Rui Nabeiro or athlete Naide Gomes.