In sustainable development Spain is 21st in the world

As far away as it may seem, 2030 is just around the corner. Especially if the goal is to meet the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDS) set by the United Nations (UN) to make our planet in a better place. A commitment that Spain has made and which it is constantly working on.

This effort has allowed our country to rank 21st (out of 162 countries analysed) in the Sustainable Development Report 2019, prepared by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). With a score of 77.8 out of 100, we are ahead other countries such as the United States, Israel and Russia, and we are very close to countries with policies focused on the environment and sustainability such as Canada (number 20 with 77.9 out of 100) and Iceland (number 14 with 79.2 out of 100).

Spain obtains the best results in ODS 6 (clean water and sanitation) and ODS 7 (affordable and non-polluting energy). The report also notes that we have significantly improved on ODS 3 (health and well-being) and ODS 4 (quality education), although there is still some way to go to reach optimal levels in these two areas. Work is already underway.

The SDSN document is based on data produced by international organisations such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the OECD. It also uses records from civil society and research centres, and refers to the main information gaps its authors have encountered. All the work has been statistically audited by the European Commission.

An international reference

Although during the last economic crisis large deficits were perceived in the areas promoted by Agenda 2030, Spain has been able to overcome them and maintain a predominant position in some of the areas. For example, in renewable energies.

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), we are the 10th world power in this field. Currently, 17.5% of the energy consumed in our country is renewable, taking into account data from the Association of Renewable Energy Companies (APPA). And if we consider the generation of electricity and its daily demand, almost 50% of electricity consumption comes from these inexhaustible sources: hydro, wind, solar and thermosolar, according to Red Eléctrica Española (REE).

Not surprisingly, considering that Spain has become the country with the world’s largest installed capacity for solar thermal energy. It is also the 5th in the world in terms of installed wind power; the 5th in Europe in photovoltaic solar energy; and the 3rd in Europe in terms of absolute forest biomass resources, according to data from various national sector employers, such as APPA, the Wind Energy Business Association (AEE) or the Solar Energy Institute.

We have the ideal climatic and geographical conditions for this, and the added benefit of human capital and specialised knowledge acquired from 20 years of development of this economic, sustainable and environmentally friendly sector.
These types of references show Spain’s commitment to environmental transformation. Jeffrey Sachs, US economist and UN advisor, has also said that our country is leading this revolution thanks to the technologies developed by many of its green companies.

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) of 2018, elaborated by the Universities of Yale and Columbia (USA) in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, places our country in the 12th position out of 180 countries in terms of environmental health and ecological vitality. Data and references that show us that we are on the right track.

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