Lithuania country profile - SDGs and the environment

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
3 min read
The Lithuanian government acknowledges that a sustainable environment plays an important role in eradicating poverty, addressing hunger, ensuring economic growth, and promoting health (Treciokas, 2016).

Lithuania has identified combatting climate change (SDG 13), protecting oceans (SDG 14) and water resources (SDG 6), ecosystems and biodiversity (SDG 15), reducing pollution and waste (SDGs 3 and 11), and increasing resource efficiency (SDG 7) as its key priority areas for environmental sustainability (Treciokas, 2016).

Lithuania’s actions towards SDGs with an environmental dimension focus primarily on SDGs 6, 7, 11, 13, 14 and 15.

The country considers climate change (SDG 13) a major threat to sustainable development. Its climate change mitigation policy is based on the sustainable development of energy from renewable resources and energy efficiency (SDG 7). In 2016, the country announced that its energy production from renewable sources accounted for more than half of the total electricity and heat production (Trečiokas, 2016). In October 2013, Lithuania approved the priorities for research and experimental development and innovation, with a breakthrough expected in 2022. The priorities cover the areas of energy, agri-innovation, biotechnology, transport, information and communication technology, new production processes and a creative society (Government of Lithuania, 2018).

Lithuania prioritises the sustainable development of cities and communities (SDG 11). It is currently developing a new general territory plan that will integrate the SDGs. This plan will become the key instrument for ensuring inclusive and sustainable urban development, reducing the socio-economic exclusion of cities and the negative impact of built-up territories on the environment, and securing the protection of natural and cultural heritage (Government of Lithuania, 2018).

The Ministry of Environment is the focal point for progressing towards the National Strategy for Sustainable Development (NSSD) and the 2030 Agenda. An Interinstitutional Working Group on Sustainable Development was established by the ministry, bringing together experts from various line ministries and civil society organisations. This Group, in cooperation with other national authorities, supports the Ministry of Environment in preparing NSSD progress reviews for presentation to the National Commission on Sustainable Development (NCSD). The NCSD is chaired by the prime minister and includes representatives from line ministries, as well as civil society, academia and the private sector (Government of Lithuania, 2018; Statistics Lithuania (LS), 2017a). There is also a commitment to further strengthen dialogue with the private sector and local stakeholders to achieve policy coherence at all levels. 

The Association of Local Authorities in Lithuania (ALAL) is involved in the national adaptation of the 2030 Agenda. Civil society and the private sector are represented in both the NCSD and the Interinstitutional Working Group on Sustainable Development (Government of Lithuania, 2018). Lithuania aims to align its sectoral strategies with the SDGs and has begun to assess the coherence of its NSSD with the 2030 Agenda. After the assessment, a public discussion will take place between the relevant institutions and non-governmental stakeholders to identify the priority areas and relevant SDG targets (UNECE, 2016). The NSSD is operationalised through four-year government action programmes, the current programme covering the period 2017-2020. A 2016-2017 mapping of the SDGs showed very close alignment between the 2030 Agenda and the NSSD. In addition, Lithuania will update its National Progress Strategy Lithuania 2030 to better reflect the SDGs (Government of Lithuania, 2018). 

Lithuania submitted a VNR to the UN in 2018.

LS collects national data indicators related to sustainable development. A dedicated working group was established to analyse the official SDG indicators and map their correlation with nationally available data (LS, 2017a). Lithuania’s NSSD identified a set of 84 national sustainable development indicators. LS then updated this list in August 2017, in cooperation with other ministries and institutions. The national list of SDG indicators will be updated annually (LS, 2017b). In addition, the biennial NSSD reports will analyse the sustainable development data and provide relevant policy recommendations (UNECE, 2016)


Government of Lithuania, 2018,Voluntary National Review on the Implementation of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Lithuania, Lithuania.

LS, 2017a, Coordination of Sustainable Development Indicators in Lithuania, Lieutuvos Statistikos Departamentas, Vilnius, Lithuania, accessed 20 November 2017.

LS, 2017b, National Sustainable Development Indicators, Lieutuvos Statistikos Departamentas, Vilnius, Lithuania, accessed 20 November 2017.

Trečiokas, K., 2016, Statement by H.E. Kestutis Treciokas, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Lithuania, HLPF, The General Debate On The Theme ‘Ensuring That No One Is Left Behind’, Republic of Lithuania, accessed 22 November 2017. 

UN DESA, 2018, ‘Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform – Documents and Reports’, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, New York, USA, accessed 29 November 2019.


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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