Greenpeace: Spain is the EU country with the most environmental challenges

enviromental challenges

The climate ambition in Spain is drying up. In 2018, the nation invested €18 billion in dirty energies, Greenpeace's latest report says. It is an environmental challenge.

By contrast, that same year it reduced the budget allocated to environmental matters by 56.5%, which it has done for the past 10 years according to Balance 2018: the best, the worst and the challenges for next year, the NGO’s annual report.

These are two serious problems in Spain, according to Greenpeace, which is why it believes that this country, of all European Union nations, must assume the greatest commitments to ensure an emissions-free future by 2040.

“In 2018, we saw how the rise of populist leaders threatens the Paris Agreement and lowers climate ambition,” says the research. The situation has not changed in 2019.

In light of this, climate activists demand the new Congress addresses the commitment to the environment, segmented in 14 points, which the parties acquired in the last election campaign.

Environmental challenges

The study sustains citizens are financing dirty energies through the light bill.

The so-called dirty energies are not classified as renewables like solar and wind. Their resulting pollution in terms of GHG emissions is lower than with fossil fuels, but they are not the ideal choice for the environment. These energies include natural gas, large hydroelectric dams, and nuclear power.

Nonetheless, the budget allocated for environmental matters is insufficient, going from €1.5 billion in 2009 to €488 million in 2018, according to the Spanish Ornithological Society SEO BirdLife.

In detail, the budget allocated for expenses like water, environmental protection, coastal issues, and climate change prevention dropped by 69%.

“It is an unfortunate data for a country threatened to become a dessert,” said the organization's director Asunción Ruiz.

Clean Energies

The situation worsens in Spain as the recent United Nations Environment Program report is denouncing the progressive deterioration of the world’s overall environmental state.

“We need urgent measures now,” it warns.

Nonetheless, there are good signs for clean energies in Spain. Recently, minister for Ecologic Transition Teresa Ribera Rodriguez called to recover environmental care as a central focus for all governments in the country.

Ribera Rodriguez is the first to lead this ministry, separated from the ministry of agriculture fishing, and food, by Greenpeace’s suggestion, as the organization considered it vital in order to prioritize the fight against climate change and biodiversity conservation.

Furthermore, President Pedro Sanchez affirmed he will put Spain at the lead of “fair” ecologic transformation.

Activists expect these statements will reflect in the budget for environmental quality.

Environment alerts

The study conducted by the Canadian organization warns that Spain’s actions are not enough to maintain global temperatures at 1.5°C.

“In 2018, we saw how the rise of populist leaders threatens the Paris Agreement and lowers climate ambition.”

It mentions the Congress’ move to reform the Law of Natural Heritage and Biodiversity, backed by the PP, PdeCat, Ciudadanos, and PNV. A change made against the criteria of the scientific community.

Greenpeace denounced that 80% of the coastal resources are degraded after 30 years of massive urbanization.

Also, it criticized “the public administrations’ slackness in the face of illegal wood imports, the greatest environmental crime on a global scale.”


SEO BirdLife revealed on Wednesday the environmental commitments acquired by the parties during the election’s campaign.

The organization made a poll on the environment and the green vote. The parties – except for Ciudadanos, which did not respond – declared to support environmental measures.

“Parliamentary representation, in the 13th legislature, would have enough support to back 16 environmental measures.”

In view of this, the organization calls to ensure compliance with these commitments by the Ecologic Transition Commission and formulate a legal petition before the Congress Committee on Petitions.

For more information, check Energía16

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