Tiago Pitta e Cunha defends bet on floating wind energy and marine biotechnology

At the ceremony in which he received the Pessoa 2021 Award, at Culturgest, in Lisbon, Tiago Pitta e Cunha considered that Portugal has not evolved as it should in terms of nature conservation and in particular marine resources — “we are far away, as a country, as State and as a civil society, to be exemplary” — and must make profound changes, with the ambition to become “one of the maritime powers of the new paradigm of the 21st century”.

“It is necessary to know how to make choices, to bet on concrete industrial policies where we can have comparative competitive advantages”, he said, proposing that Portugal choose to “reduce the industrial scale of fishing to a sustainable scale and, instead, increase the still laboratory scale of biotechnology industrial scale marine.

According to Pitta e Cunha, the country’s “overwhelmingly maritime geography” should be the basis for political-economic options: “We have the largest continental shelf in Europe and we have floating offshore wind technology so that we can be major exporters of renewable energy, instead of overloading our terrestrial territory with photovoltaic parks of absurd proportions, otherwise in the next few years we will destroy one of the last assets of our natural capital, the landscape”.

“Let us therefore bet on floating wind power, creating the necessary incentives, making this industry competitive”, reinforced the jurist, a specialist in maritime affairs.

Pitta e Cunha also defended the “development of the bivalves and algae industry”.

“If we make these bets today, if we go where the future is going, if we anticipate, who knows if in ten years we won’t be able to be the maritime power that Norway is today? This must be our ultimate goal: to become one of the powers of the new paradigm of the 21st century. It is certainly worth a try”, he maintained.

The winner warned that the planet is being “irreversibly” dilapidated and that a “new economic paradigm” is imperative, which “based on renewable energy, more moderate consumption models and new food diets”.

With regard to Portugal, he condemned the increase in urban areas, the occupation of more agricultural land and the destruction of trees. “We wrongly insist on the linear and extractive economy of the past when we encourage and authorize new mining operations”, he criticized.

“With forest fires, we are seeing Portugal’s green natural capital disappear within a generation. The Serra de Monchique, with centuries-old forests, which was the main barrier to accelerated desertification in the south of the country, has almost completely disappeared in last 20 years. It was a tragedy that, I think, has not yet been truly understood by Portuguese society”, he pointed out.

The administrator of the Oceano Azul Foundation said that a study requested by this institution from the University of the Algarve concluded that “this region has lost, in the last 20 years alone, almost 70% of its fish resources, as a direct result of unregulated fishing”, which in in his view “should provoke deep reflection”.

“On the other hand, how to explain that for more than 30 years there has not been a significant protected marine area created in mainland Portugal?”, he asked.

Tiago Pitta e Cunha hopes that the Pessoa Prize

The winner called for “a profound change of mentality” in favor of valuing and conserving nature, which goes “from the reform of State action to the heart of society”.

“If we manage to guide our national society, the State and civil society together, towards the future, which is ineluctably that of environmental sustainability, the restoration of nature and the decarbonization of the economy, Portugal will also become a place admirable. I am convinced that this is the design of my generation”, he declared.

Tiago Pitta e Cunha is a member of the board of directors and director of the executive committee of the Oceano Azul Foundation, linked to the Francisco Manuel dos Santos Foundation, which has the Lisbon Oceanarium concession. He was a consultant to the former President of the Republic, Aníbal Cavaco Silva, who attended this ceremony.

The Pessoa Prize is an initiative of the Expresso newspaper, sponsored by Caixa Geral de Depósitos, currently worth 60 thousand euros. It has been awarded annually for 35 years to a national personality who has distinguished himself in the cultural, literary, scientific, artistic or legal fields.

Before the award, the President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, spoke.

This ceremony was attended by the ministers of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva, and of Environment and Climate Action, Duarte Cordeiro, and the Mayor of Lisbon, Carlos Moedas.

Tiago Pitta e Cunha is the Person Award 2021

Source: Renascença – Noticias by rr.sapo.pt.

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