OECD Review of Spain's Environmental Performance


01/10/2004 - The OECD’s latest report on Spain’s environmental performance praises a number of achievements but also insists that Spain steps up the efficiency of its environmental policies, the integration of environmental concerns in sectors such as tourism, construction, transport, energy and agriculture, and the implementation of its international commitments.

The Spanish Environment Minister, Cristina Narbona, and Lorents Lorentsen, OECD’s Director of Environment, will release the report at a news conference at 11:30 on 5 October at the Spanish Ministry of the Environment in Madrid.

Noting that priority environmental issues in Spain include water management, biodiversity conservation, climate change and air pollution, sustainable tourism and waste management, the report recommends that Spain improves its environmental management by:

  • further controlling air emissions of sox, nox, vocs, nh3 and improving air quality by reducing ground level ozone and particulates from stationary and transport sources,
  • shifting to water demand management and efficient water pricing,
  • phasing out environmental subsidies and making better use of economic instruments to encourage the efficient management of resources and reduce pollutants,
  • anticipating the EU reduction of environmental support in areas such as water infrastructure,
  • more tightly enforcing pollution and land use regulations, such as coastal zone protection, at national and regional levels.

The OECD suggests that Spain could progress towards sustainable development by:

  • integrating environmental concerns into tourism, construction, transport, energy and agriculture policies by reviewing the environmentally harmful impact of the taxes and subsidies in these sectors and developing strategic environmental assessments for them,
  • reforming the ecotax,
  • decoupling waste generation and energy consumption from economic growth in relevant sectors,
  • following the international environmental agenda by curbing ghg growth, further increasing oda, ratifying the Aarhus convention, preventing marine pollution caused by land based pollution and oil spills, and better managing fisheries.

Over the past decade, Spain has significantly improved its environmental polices, and the report praises a number of achievements:

  • strengthened institutional and legislative environmental framework at national and regional levels, based on EU directives, a network of environmental authorities, and new laws,
  • greater emphasis on nature and biodiversity such as management of protected areas, Natura 2000 proposals, more international co-operation, and a national biodiversity strategy,
  • improved municipal water infrastructure and quality of coastal bathing waters,
    recent revision of water management policies, in line with the EU water framework directive,
  • renewed commitments to climate change policies, in line with EU and Kyoto commitments.

This publication, the second OECD Review of Spain’s environmental performance, is part of the OECD regular series of Environmental Performance Reviews of OECD member countries and uses extensively environmental indicators. The report reviews Spain’s progress in the context of the OECD Environmental Strategy for the First Decade of the 21st Century, and in relation to its own policy objectives, as stated in domestic legislation or international agreements.

To obtain a copy of the OECD Environmental Performance Review of Spain, which is embargoed until 5 October, journalists should contact the OECD Media Relations Division. For further information about the OECD’s Environmental Performance Reviews, please contact Helen Fisher, OECD Media Relations Division (tel. (33 1) 45 24 80 97).

For further information on Environmental Performance Reviews


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