Croatia country profile - SDGs and the environment

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
3 min read
Photo: © Photo by Antoine Petitteville on Unsplash
Croatia plans greater investment to reduce exposure of the population to environmental pollution (water, air and soil) and to reinforce the environmental factors health impact (SDG 3) assessment associated with industrial facility construction and other potential environmental polluters. The government acknowledges that a healthy environment is essential for a healthy life and that building a green infrastructure plays a major role (SDG 9). It has therefore set itself the goal of ‘Development of Green Infrastructure and Nature-Based Solutions’ under its 2030 national development strategy (Government of the Republic of Croatia, 2019).

Croatia also aims to implement measures to prevent water pollution (SDGs 6, 14) and to shut down landfill by 2024 by phasing in modern waste-treatment facilities (SDG 12). The country will also invest EUR 4 to 6 billion in renewable energy (SDG 7) by 2030 (Government of the Republic of Croatia, 2019).

Croatia’s actions towards SDGs with an environmental dimension focus primarily on SDGs 3, 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14 and 15.  

According to an EEA report, Croatia is one of three countries with the highest cumulative share of damage to GDP from extreme weather and climate events. It has therefore recognised the need to take a strategic approach to climate change adaptation (SDG 13) and to develop innovative solutions (SDG 9) for sustainable development. This awareness saw Croatia develop its first climate change adaptation strategy (Government of the Republic of Croatia, 2019).

Since sustainable tourism is vital, Croatia is prioritising preservation of the natural environment (SDG 15) to ensure long-term sustainable growth. In recent years, marine tourism has become a fast-growing sector and the Croatian government has focused on regulating the maritime sector to ensure the highest environmental and maritime safety standards (SDG 14) (Kostelac, 2017). Safe and environmentally sustainable maritime transport, infrastructure and the maritime domain is another strategic goal (UN DESA, 2018). Croatia also plans to transition towards the use of alternative fuels for transport connections to its islands, thereby contributing to the reduction of emissions from marine transport (SDG 13) (Kostelac, 2017).

Croatia designated the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs as its national coordinator for SDG actions. The Ministry established a working group on SDGs, followed by an ‘Environment Action Plan 2016-2024’ in line with the goals of the environmental SDGs. In May 2016, Croatia launched a project to develop its national climate adaptation strategy (ESDN, 2017). The government is receiving increasing levels of interest and cooperation from its major national stakeholder groups towards achieving the 2030 Agenda (Kostelac, 2017).

Croatia submitted a VNR to the UN in 2019.

In early 2019, Croatia established the Information System for Strategic Planning and Development Management to effectively track the progress on SDG actions. The Croatian Bureau of Statistics designed an internet portal (modelled on the UN portal Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform) to share results and the status of SDG key indicators with the wider public (Government of the Republic of Croatia, 2019).


ESDN, 2017, ‘Single country profile – Croatia’, European Sustainable Development Network, Vienna, Austria ( accessed 20 November 2017.

Government of the Republic of Croatia, 2019,Voluntary National Review of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Implementation, Government of the Republic of Croatia ( accessed 25 July 2019.

Kostelac, M. M., 2017,Statement by Ms. Maja Markovcic Kostelac,  State Secretary at the Ministry of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure, at the General Debate on UN Conference to Support the Implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and Sustainably Use the Oceans, Seas and marine Resources for Sustainable Development, Government of the Republic of Croatia ( accessed 7 November 2017.

UN DESA, 2018, ‘Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform – Documents and Reports’, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, USA ( accessed 3 December 2018.


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.


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