Spain country profile - SDGs and the environment

Briefing Published 02 Dec 2020 Last modified 02 Dec 2020
Spain is extremely vulnerable to climate change. The country aims to enhance consistency and create synergies between the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030 and strives to ensure that the 2030 Agenda helps to address the challenges posed by climate change (UN DESA, 2017).

The priorities for SDG action, in this respect, are to reduce the negative environmental impact of cities (SDG 11); to pay particular attention to air quality (SDG 3); and waste management (SDG 12); to become resilient to the negative effects of disasters (SDG 13); and to protect cultural and natural heritage (SDG 15)(Government of Spain, 2018).

Spain prioritizes actions towards SDGs 3, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 with an environmental dimension.

Spain also supports initiatives relating to sustainable energy (SDG 7) and focuses on efficient and sustainable water management (SDG 6) (FCAS) (UN DESA, 2017). The country’s other environmental priorities are the fight against desertification and protection of forests (SDG 15) as well as the sustainable management of marine resources and oceans (SDG 14) (Government of Spain, 2018).

It developed a National Action Plan for 2018-2020 for action towards Agenda 2030. The plan prioritizes certain aspects of the 2030 Agenda. The High-Level Group (HLG) for the 2030 Agenda leads the coordination of all SDG-related issues in Spain with representatives from line ministries. Spain created the Office of High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda to oversee progress on sustainable development. The high commissioner reports directly to the president and receives technical support from the Office of the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda (Government of Spain, 2018).

Spain submitted a VNR to the UN in 2018.

Civil society is actively involved in SDG actions, with representatives from the municipalities and regions forming part of the HLG. In addition, Futuro en Común is a cross-sectoral platform designed to bring together civil society organizations and facilitate advocacy, awareness-raising, and the influence of public policy pertaining to sustainable development (UN DESA, 2017).

The National Statistics Institute (Instituto nacional de estadísticas), in collaboration with the Interministerial Statistics Commission, oversees the expansion and updating of the set of indicators on SDGs (UN DESA, 2017).


Government of Spain, 2018, Spain’s Report for the 2018 Voluntary National Review, Spain, accessed 11 April 2019.

UN DESA, 2017, ‘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.


Geographic coverage

Temporal coverage


Document Actions