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Posted by portugalpress on September 10, 2018

Thousands of people turned out to commemorate World Climate March on Saturday, with colourful parades going ahead in Porto, Lisbon and Faro.

But while the event was billed as a demonstration to raise awareness of the risks of climate change, media here interpreted it specifically as another bid to stop oil prospection along the Algarve/ lower Alentejan coast.

State news agency Lusa used these words in its headline, suggesting support in Porto ran easily to more than 1000 people.

People Animals Nature party MP André Silva was among the crowds and he spoke to Lusa, stressing that scientific findings that “are more and more consensual” on climate change being caused by the actions of human beings.

As to this Socialist government’s pro-oil stance, “against the will of the Algarve’s populations and mayors”, Silva described it as “completely inconsistent” with the Paris Accord and agreed plans for decarbonisation.

It is not that he and others within the cause want to stop oil exploration in Portugal, he said. It is much wider than that. “The intention is to close more and more oil wells throughout the world”, he explained. “Investment has to be made in energetic science and alternative policies”.

In Faro the day was marked with music, dancing and real joy in the feeling of unity for a vital cause.

Biologist and activist Dina Salvador has uploaded a riot of photographs online, saying “Younger and younger people are coming forwards to say ENOUGH to the start of fossil fuel exploration in Portugal, to deep sea mining, intensive monocultures, eucalyptus plantations and rampant consumerism.

“These events represent an appeal to people’s consciences because in the end the real change has to begin within each one of us… Thinking sustainable is a matter of urgency!”