Sustainability and efficiency in the use of resources in Portugal

The impacts of PO SEUR (2014-2020)


  • Eduardo Medeiros Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, DINÂMIA’CET-Iscte
  • Bernardo Valente Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, CIS-Iscte
  • Vasco Gonçalves Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, DINÂMIA’CET-Iscte
  • Paula Castro Iscte - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, CIS-Iscte


PO SEUR, Territorial Impact Assessment, Environmental Sustainability, Climate adaptations, Low-Emissions Economy.


We live in an era with growing global concerns in the field of environmental sustainability. Institutional and social sensitivity to environmental protection is particularly relevant in the territory of the European Union (EU). In this regard, EU Cohesion Policy allocates a significant part of its financial package to attain strategic policy objectives that provide proactive support for the achievement of environmentally sustainable territorial development processes. In Portugal, the PO SEUR - Operational Programme for Sustainability and Efficient Use of Resources - has acted as a critical instrument to support sustainable development. In this article, an impact assessment methodology was used to assess the implementation of the PO SEUR (2014-2020) in mainland Portugal in five dimensions of analysis: (i) Low-emissions economy; (ii) Adaptation to Climate Change; (iii) Risk Prevention and Management; (iv) Environmental Protection and (v) Resource Efficiency. Based on the collected data it was possible to verify that, in general, the PO SEUR had a positive impact on sustainability and efficiency in the use of resources in Mainland Portugal in the period 2014-2020. However, this impact generally ranged from low to moderately positive impacts. In this regard, the highest positive impacts were observed in the ‘adaptation to climate change’ dimension and the least positive in the ‘low emission economy’ dimension.


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