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The state of the Environment
Environment statistics
The state of the Environment - 2021
22 December 2022


The year 2021 was hot and dry, nevertheless recording the lowest number of rural fires of the last 10 years in mainland Portugal (8,186 occurrences) and the second lowest burnt area (28.4 thousand hectares). In a context of economic recovery, still without reaching the levels of 2019, the Direct Material Input in national economy increased by 6.9%. The provisional estimates of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions for 2021 show a decrease of 1.3%, maintaining the downward trajectory since 2017. This trend mainly reflects the 4.5% increase in electricity produced from renewable energy sources (64.9% of total electricity), maintaining the consecutive growth since 2017. In terms of Environmental Protection, General Government expenditure increased by 33.2% and investments by Industry companies rose 18.3%, the latter with particular focus on the field of Air Quality and Climate Protection (+60.5%).

On the negative side, the increase of sectorial waste generation (+20.4%) stands out, partly as a consequence of the economic growth and, in particular, of the Construction sector growth (+39.5 billion euros in the sector's production), with construction waste increasing 53.1%. The indicator of preparation of urban waste for reuse and recycling accentuated the downward trend, reaching 32% in 2021 (-6 pp compared to 2020) and moving away from the target of 55% to be achieved in 2025.

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