A few years ago, Spain was considered quite late concerning environmental efforts, since then, the government and the Spanish population have made a lot of effort and reversed this situation. Spain is still deeply sinking under the pressure of the economical and social crisis with an unemployment rate of 25,93% (regressing compared to last year but still too high) but starts to present some lightening with a positive GDP variation by 0,5%. Spain is one of the green performers of Europe with a very developed recycling sector (many roads are made of recycle asphalt and the population follow correctly the recycling lifecycle). The crisis has for sure impacted Spanish environmental economy due to the reduction of the activity and the lack of investment (production still reducing by 1,9%). Even if domestic consumption seams to resurrect with 1,9% growth regarding last year, we can observe important drop of the building activity (-10,88% compared to March 2013). The environmental indicators show clearly the efforts made by Spain, specifically concerning the reduction of greenhouse gases emissions by 27 points in 5 years (from 150 in 2005 to 123 in 2010) and an increasing effort of resources’ saving like the cutback of water extractions at 35.655 Million m3 in 2005 (indicator at 36.689 in 2000). The challenge of the country’s targets could be reached for the renewable energy, since the country is already at 13.8% of the GDP in 2010 (it has increased by 5,6% from 2005 to 2010) while the target is to push this percentage up to 20% by 2020. In parallel, Spain is one the few countries where for the past 5 years (from 2005 to 2010), energy consumption of transports and CO2 emissions from fuel combustion have fallen while Biodiversity index remains stable, meaning that protection systems are effective.
It is a good example for us citizens of Europe; Spain has realized the benefits that the country and the population can take out of environmental processes by introducing them anywhere there is potential. It is a good example of the fruits of efforts made by government and citizens together in order to change the route of actions, the results are obvious and positive. Nevertheless, the crisis remains a dangerous threat that we hope to see disappear.
Articles about Spain:
Encyclopedie of Nations: Spain Environment http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Europe/Spain-ENVIRONMENT.html
Country Profile European sitehttp://www.eea.europa.eu/soer/countries
Article “Quand la crise sauve la nature” http://www.courrierinternational.com/article/2013/08/05/quand-la-crise-sauve-la-nature
Article “L’écologie militante et citoyenne exemplaire à VALENCIA, en Espagne : 25 ans déjà ! (El Pais)” http://blogs.mediapart.fr/blog/philippeginet/250213/l-ecologie-militante-et-citoyenne-exemplaire-valencia-en-espagne-25-ans-deja-el-pais
Ministry of Agriculture and Environment http://www.magrama.gob.es/es/
CEPA – Centre d’Ecologia i Projectes Alternatius http://cepa.pangea.org/
Amigos de la Tierrahttp://www.tierra.org/spip/spip.php
GCTPFNN – Grup de Científics i Técnics per un futur no nuclear http://www.energiasostenible.org/ca/
Country Environmental Indicators:
OECD Environment: Key tables from OECD – ISSN 2075-826X – © OECD 2012