Here are the common challenges Portugal and CA face as their president visits Bay Area

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
President of Portugal visits Bay Area, talks sustainable solutions
Portugal's president Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa made a stop at Stanford University to talk about climate change and sustainable solutions.

PALO ALTO, Calif. (KGO) -- Stanford University received a special visit Monday from Portugal's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who has been making stops throughout the state.

Portugal's president made a stop at the university to talk about climate change and sustainable solutions.

California has the largest Portuguese-American population in the country with nearly 350,000 residents, many of who live in San Jose and San Francisco but that's not all we have in common.

"Portugal and California have many things in common," said Arun Majumdar, Dean of Stanford Doerr's School of Sustainability. "We are both on the western edge of a continent with similar climatic conditions. Consequently, we face many of the same threats from climate change."

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Like California, Portugal is home to places like beautiful beaches and vineyards yet also struggles to combat wildfires and droughts.

Majumdar welcomed Rebelo de Sousa to talk solutions.

"We have two issues at stake this afternoon," the Portuguese president said. "One is cooperation, the future between Portugal and this university."

Rebelo de Souza says he wants to see Stanford's finest coming to collaborate at universities in Portugal and vice versa, all to work toward a shared goal of finding sustainable solutions to what he calls the second issue, those climate change threats both California and Portugal face, focusing on at least three priorities.

"The oceans," Rebelo de Souza listed off at the Monday event. "Renewables, the third one: the wildfires."

Monday not only marked the first day of classes at Stanford but also the first large event hosted by the university's new Doerr School of Sustainability.

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The school focuses on areas like climate change, earth and planetary sciences, sustainable cities and more.

Majumdar said officially at the event that they're on board with Portugal to work towards solutions.

"We must collaborate on innovations that can help our own regions as well as others facing similar challenges," he said. "If there was a time to partner and put our hearts and minds together, this is it."

Rebelo de Sousa hoping the partnership will be both successful and longstanding.

"This is just the beginning of a long lasting friendship," he said.

In addition to the Stanford visit, the Portuguese president has scheduled other Bay Area visits including a Sunday stop in San Jose and also scheduled stops in San Francisco and Tiburon.

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