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Economy

Free, clean and green: a positive form of energy

As you are reading this sentence, the first clients of the Coopérnico cooperative will be receiving their first bills for green energy. Present in the liberalised Portuguese energy market since 22nd June, this social economy company also provides anyone interested with the opportunity to invest in renewable energy. Find out how. It is one of the 56 organisations recognised by the Directorate-General of Energy as being able to trade in electricity, but it is not yet registered as a supplier with the ERSE (the Regulatory Body for Energy Services), whose website lists all the companies that can supply the market …

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Investments in a new ECO system

The prices for paper raw material from eucalyptus are falling. Last month, woodcutters in Portugal were working day after day to chop down as much eucalyptus as possible to be paid the old price of between 38 and 40 euros per tonne by Portucel/Soporcel. Now the prices are below 30 euros per tonne and there are far too many eucalyptus forests in the country. What will happen to them now? There is a lot of supply, but demand is low. This is good for the paper producer Portucel/Soporcel, but bad for the forest and land owners who are geared toward …

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Is Ethical Banking possible in Portugal?

The developments and events thus far known about the collapse of BES and the Espírito Santo group, across various ramifications, are anything but reassuring. The entire range of situations that are coming into the public domain make it ever more pertinent to discover initiatives that take a different approach to banking activities and also in Portugal. To this end, ECO123 interviewed Tito Damião, Executive Director of ACAF – the Association of Self Financed Communities, which has engaged in a range of initiatives designed to foster the conditions for the emergence of Ethical Banking in Portugal. ECO123: Before we get into …

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Tourism, Economics and the Environment

According to numbers published by the World Tourism Organisation and covering international travel across the planet, 2013 sawged a total of 1.087 billion arrivals. The specialists expect these numbers to top 1.4 billion in 2020 and 1.8 billion in 20301. With the plane providing the most common means of transport, the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere is not only astronomical but also highly negative for the environment. According to quarterly statistical bulletin numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20 of INAC2 (the Portuguese Institute of Civil Aviation), the country’s mainland airports registered 245,079 plane movements in 2013 with …

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Pesca e turismo

Resilience. Sustainability. A Good Life.

People who are addicted to drugs are mostly in a bad way. They actually need some therapy to get off the poison. But not every addict takes the decision to detox and then have therapy: not with heroin, nor with alcohol and even less so with smoking, whatever it is that is being smoked. Many people maintain their dependencies and live well, or so they say. It’s similar in our economy. It has settled into dependency. Our economy is addicted to subsidies, especially in one business sector. In tourism, all the poison is injected by Brussels and Lisbon. This time, …

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Green Bonds

In the field of sustainable investment, there is currently an interesting trend in fixed-interest securities. Investors not only want to know in whom they are investing their money, but they want to know in detail what is happening with their money. It can be deduced from this that there is both a lack of trust vis-à-vis the issuers, and an awareness of and a keen interest in what exactly should happen with the invested money. The reason that this is especially interesting is that many banks – especially big ones – have no longer refinanced themselves through deposits. As was …

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Sustainable investing

The definitions are often very personal and there are big differences between them. There are approaches that can confidently be referred to as greenwashing, and there are others that take purely social or ecological criteria into account. Whether the philosophy underlying an investment matches one’s own values is something that can only be ensured by asking specific questions about the conditions and background. This is also crucial from an economic point of view because it can currently be seen that many investment companies have taken advantage of the positive attitude of private investors, especially towards ecological investments. It is against …

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Mobility

People and Mobility.

Let’s start with the good news. Portugal is in 6th place in the global Climate Change Performance Index (1), directly behind Denmark and Sweden and ahead of both Switzerland and Germany. And the bad news? The reduction in greenhouse gases coming from emissions from industry, agriculture and forestry, from power stations, from buildings and households but especially from transport and mobility can mainly be attributed to drastic cuts during the economic and financial crisis. Important though a balanced national budget may be, savings alone are of little help when major investments in the right ideas and projects are lacking. Political …

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Birdwatching - Faia Brava

Success stories.

The private educational programme for schools “Faia Brava” was successfully financed through crowdfunding  (www.ppl.com.pt) . €4,150 was used for six safari tents so that classes of school children could be given practical eco-lessons on the ground in the Faia Brava gorge in the wilderness of northern Portugal. €4,508 was raised from 77 private investors and donors. Themed walks, bird watching, seminars and educational games in the over 850 hectares of the unique nature reserve of the river Côa to the north of Guarda are intended to ensure increased understanding of our flora and fauna in Portugal.

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die ökonomie von gut und böse

Economics of Good and Evil

As a dissertation at the Charles University in Prague, it wasn’t good enough, but as a book, it’s a bestseller. The author won a scholarship to Yale. Even as a relative youngster, he belonged to former President Václav Havel’s team of advisers on economic matters. Today he’s a lecturer in economic history and philosophy at the Charles University, chief economist at CSOB, the biggest Czech bank, and a columnist. His book is a journey through 4,000 years of cultural and economic history, as well as a sharp analysis of the fact that economics and language are never value-free. The book is …

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