27 June 2019
On the occasion of World Environment Day, celebrated on 5 June, and World Oceans Day, commemorated on 8 June, we highlight the situation and the consequences environmental pollution is currently having and how FIIAPP, through various projects it manages, is helping in the fight to protect the environment
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), environmental pollution has reached alarming proportions, in figures, 9 out of 10 people breathe toxic air and 7 million die every year from environmental and domestic pollution.
The Director General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, points out that “air pollution poses a threat to everyone, although the poorest and most marginalised people are worst affected”. In this regard, the WHO notes that over 90% of deaths related to air pollution occur in low and middle income countries, mainly in Asia and Africa, followed by low and middle income countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, Europe and the Americas.
Air pollution is considered an important risk factor, especially for noncommunicable diseases. The data show that it causes a quarter (24%) of adult deaths from heart disease, 25% of deaths from strokes, 43% of deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and 29% of deaths due to lung cancer.
Also, according to a study published in the ‘European Heart Journal‘, pollution is responsible for 800,000 deaths a year in Europe and 8.8 million worldwide.
World Environment Day
The first conference related to environmental issues was held in Stockholm from 5 to 16 June 1972 under the auspices of the United Nations. This meeting is known as the Conference on the Human Environment and its objective was to achieve a common vision on basic aspects related to protecting and improving the human environment.
On 15 December 1972, the General Assembly adopted a resolution that designated 5 June as World Environment Day. In addition, on that same day, the General Assembly approved another resolution that led to the creation of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP).
In 2019, World Environment Day has focused on air pollution. “It’s time to act forcefully. My message to governments is clear: tax pollution, stop subsidising fossil fuels and stop building new coal plants. We need a green economy, not a grey economy, “the Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, highlighted in his speech.
SDG 13: Adopt urgent measures to combat climate change and its effects
In order to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at COP21, which entered into force in 2016. In it, the countries committed themselves to work to limit the increase in global temperature to less than two degrees Celsius.
The targets that are intended to achieve this Sustainable Development Goal include: strengthen the resilience and ability to adapt to the risks related to climate and natural disasters; improve education and awareness of climate change mitigation; put the Green Climate Fund into operation by capitalising on it as soon as possible and increase capacity for effective planning and management in relation to climate change in the least developed countries.
World Oceans Day
The United Nations General Assembly designated 8 June as World Oceans Day. The oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. However, only 1% of this area is protected. In addition, the oceans contain 96% of the Earth’s water and absorb around 25% of the CO2 that is added to the atmosphere year after year due to human activity, thus reducing the impact of this greenhouse gas on the climate.
“In the last 150 years, approximately half of live corals have been lost. Pollution by plastic in the oceans has multiplied tenfold in the last 40 years. One third of fish stocks are overexploited. The dead zones – submarine deserts where life does not prosper due to a lack of oxygen – are increasing rapidly, both in size and in number, “said Antonio Guterres.
SDG 14: Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources
The Oceans Conference was held between 5 and 9 June 2017, it was the first United Nations conference to work towards achieving SDG 14, its objective was to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources through sustainable development.
In addition, this Sustainable Development Goal has a number of targets including the following: prevent and reduce marine pollution of all kinds; regulate fishing exploitation and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices; conserve at least 10% of coastal and marine areas in accordance with national laws and international law; and facilitate the access by small-scale artisanal fishermen to marine resources and markets.
At present, various brands are reflecting the problem that our seas currently suffer in their advertising campaigns. For example, the Reina Sofía Foundation has presented an animated short film, Lemon, which represents the problem of plastics in nature.
According to scientists, by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. They also warn that one million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year as a result of plastic contamination. And, as if that were not enough, they highlight that microplastics have been found in 70% of the salt, molluscs and crustaceans we consume in our country.
FIIAPP and its contribution to the environment
FIIAPP manages several projects focused on caring for the environment. The EUROCLIMA+ programme is funded by the European Union and the climate governance component is managed by FIIAPP. It aims to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, because greenhouse gas emissions from urban transport in the region continue to increase.
If we talk about climate change, Beatriz García-Pozuelo, EUROCLIMA+ senior technician, points out that “it is expected that by 2100 the temperature in Madrid will have increased by 4 ºC. This means that living in Madrid would be more like living in Saudi Arabia or the Arab Emirates.”
In addition, FIIAPP manages Cuba-renewable, a project to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba. This project supports the effective implementation of the policy for the prospective development of renewable energy sources and efficient energy use and an appropriate regulatory framework.
“The use of renewable energy has created mountain hospitals, rural schools and, ultimately, allowed the population to access energy in a more equitable manner,” says Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project. In addition, she points out that, as Cuba is a country rich in renewable resources, the development of these resources “would make an important contribution to the environment”.
In addition, the Assistance Programme against Transnational Organised Crime, El PAcCTO, is implementing various activities among security forces and bodies in Europe, Latin America and internationally in order to promote joint policies to combat environmental crimes.
Similarly, the project ‘Accountability, Rule of Law and Anti-Corruption in Ghana’, ARAP-Ghana, whose representatives at Ghanian Public Prosecutor’s Office and Environmental Protection Agency have visited Spain in order to acquire knowledge and good practices in the field of environmental crimes.
23 May 2019
To celebrate Africa Day on 25 May, we are highlighting the current situation on this continent, the impact of the 2030 Agenda and what FIIAPP is doing in Africa with its projects
When thinking about Africa, words like poverty, hunger, and war spring to mind… However, Africa has made progress in many respects in recent years, largely thanks to the work being carried out on this continent by cooperation and humanitarian agencies and the United Nations (UN).
According to the UNICEF ‘Generation 2030’ report, Africa is the continent with the second largest population, with more than 1 bn inhabitants. In addition, it is expected that 1.8 bn children will be born in African in the coming years, doubling its population.
However, according to UNICEF, sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the second highest mortality rate among children under the age of five in the world. In 2016, of the 2.6 million children who died at this age, 38% were from sub-Saharan Africa. Despite these figures, infant mortality fell by 4.6% between 2000 and 2016.
Life expectancy, disease and malnutrition
If we talk about life expectancy, although life expectancy in Africa fell during the 90s because of the AIDS epidemic, the continent has achieved much in this area in recent years. Currently, Africans live an average of 9.4 years more than they did fifteen years ago.
With this in mind, it should be noted that Africa is the continent most severely affected by diseases like AIDS and malaria. According to the latest available AIDS figures, some 17.5 million people contracted the disease in 2016. On the other hand, according to figures provided by WHO, in 2015, 241 million people had malaria, 88% of whom were in Africa.
Regarding chronic malnutrition (low height per age), information provided by UNICEF reveals that this fell from 7.1% in 1990 to 4% in 2017. In this same line, acute malnutrition (low weight per height), decreased from 44% to 24.3%. This percentage means 58.7 million children were afflicted.
Education and poverty
In the meantime, when it comes to education UNESCO says that approximately 153 million adults in Africa are illiterate, two thirds of whom are women. When it comes to primary education, figures from 2016 show that 20.8% of children of this age did not go to class and 57.8% did not receive secondary education.
Regarding poverty, 40 of the 50 most underdeveloped countries are in Africa. In the last annual report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in 2016, the poorest countries were the Central African Republic, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guinea, South Sudan and Mozambique.
On 25 May 1963, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was founded to promote unity and solidarity among African states, end colonialism, foster international relations and give a voice to the continent. This is how Africa Day came about. The OAU was the forerunner of the current African Union (AU), an organisation created in 2002 to promote economic and political integration and cooperation among its member states, inspired by the European Union.
2030 Agenda and the SDGs
The 2030 Agenda fosters sustainable development in Africa, especially if the “leave no one behind” commitment is to be met. As we already have pointed out, Africa has the least developed countries. In 2016, Africa was home to 60% of the world’s poor, and this figure is expected to continue growing in the coming years, despite the progress made on the continent.
In the 2063 Agenda, the African Union foresees a self-sufficient and sustainable Africa which is recognised throughout the world.
“Adding to the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda of the United Nations, the 2063 Agenda lays the foundation for the entire continent’s resilience and social and economic progress. The United Nations remains firmly committed to supporting Africa’s efforts”, said the Secretary-General of the United Nations on Africa Day in 2018. “What’s good for Africa is good for the world”, reiterated Guterres.
FIIAPP in Africa
FIIAPP is leading projects in several African regions to improve the current situation. These projects focus on security and justice, public administration and social affairs and economic and environmental development.
When talking about security and justice we would highlight the following projects: ‘GAR-SI Sahel‘, ‘SEACOP‘, the ‘ Application of the Rule of Law in the Horn of Africa and Yemen‘, ‘SENSEC-EU Senegal‘, ‘EUROMED Justice IV‘, ‘EU-ACT‘, ‘ARAP Ghana‘, the ‘Fight against terrorism in the Middle East and North Africa‘, ‘ECÍ-Niger‘ and ‘A-TIPSOM‘.
Rafael Ríos, head of the A-TIPSOM project says that it “complements the Nigerian government’s strategy, not only by making the measures viable and sustainable, but also by establishing that coordination and cooperation between all countries is essential to the long-term goal, which is to reduce the number of men and women who fall victim to this new 21st-century form of slavery”.
FIIAPP also has several projects focused on public administration and social issues such as’Bridging the Gap‘,’SOCIEUX+‘,’Support for the higher education system in Morocco‘, the ‘Modernisation of public finances in Algeria’, the ‘Institutional Strengthening of the Ministry of Communication and its partners operating in the audio-visual field and communications in Morocco’ and ‘Support for the institutional reform and the development of skills in the Higher Institute of the Judiciary in Morocco’ and ‘Living without discrimination in Morocco‘.
Lucía Molo, project technician of the ‘Living together without discrimination in Morocco’ initiative, says that the primary aim is “to reinforce mechanisms and public policies to prevent and combat racism and xenophobia towards the migrant population in the Kingdom of Morocco through guidance, exchange and transfer of knowledge”.
In terms of projects that aim for economic and environmental development, we would highlight the ‘“Institutional support to improve the capacities of the research and innovation system in Tunisia‘ and the ‘Safer road transport of dangerous goods in Morocco’ projects.
Francisca Guzmán, the coordinator of this last project, stated that it “aims to improve safety and strengthen the structure and activities linked to transporting dangerous goods by road, and its main goal is to prepare the regulatory texts mentioned in Law 30/05”.
FIIAPP has developed other projects for Africa, some of which are outstanding, such as the ‘Local Development Programme (LDP) in Angola through the Social Support Fund (FAS IV)‘. This project, financed by the European Union and managed by the Foundation, has helped to reduce poverty through the effective decentralisation of the provision of basic public services and by increasing income and business opportunities.
25 April 2019
Education is undoubtedly paramount for the development of society. Mindful as FIIAPP is of this fact, it strives for this tool for change to be developed in a number of the Foundation's projectsMorocco school
According to data from the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, in 2017, Spain continued to be the country in the European Union with the second highest number of early school leavers, followed by Romania. Even though our country has managed to reduce the rate of early school leavers, it still remains above the 15% agreed with the EU for 2020.
One place above Spain, Malta topped the list of early school leaver rates at 18.6%. At the other end of the scale, countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and Ireland were seen to have the lowest early school leaver rates with percentages of 3.1%; 4.3%, 5% and 5.1% respectively.
As far as EU member countries are concerned as a whole, fourteen of them have already reached the targets set for 2020: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia.
Moreover, according to Eurostat data, the overall early school leaver rate in the European Union is 10.6%, still six tenths above the 10% target for 2020. In terms of gender, 8.9% of young women leave education early, as opposed to 12.1% of young men.
Improving equity in education
According to the OECD, “difficulties in education and in the labour market translate into differences in socio-economic results and in general welfare that are passed on from parents to children”.
During the presentation in Paris of the report on the situation in education in 2018, Education at a Glance 2018, Angel Gurría, secretary general of the OECD, stressed that “improving education is a collective effort that involves all stakeholders: the Ministry of Education, local authorities, teachers, school leaders and other members of the educational community“.
However, later on in his address he pointed out that “a centralised approach to education with a standardised allocation of resources does not necessarily guarantee equitable results“.
International Day of Education
On 3 December 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education. The initiative seeks to highlight the role of education in peace and development.
The resolution in question, namely 73/25, co-authored by Nigeria and 58 Member States, demonstrated, according to the United Nations, “the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all”.
UNESCO, as the United Nations organisation specialising in education, is in charge of observing the annual celebration of this International Day in collaboration with key decision makers in the education sector.
SDG 4: Quality education
Education is Sustainable Development Goals number 4. As is the case with the other 16 SDGs, this objective brings with it a series of targets that governments intend to see fulfilled by the 2030 Agenda.
These include ensuring that all girls and boys complete primary and secondary education, have access to early childhood care and development services and quality preschool education, eliminating gender disparities, ensuring equal access to all levels of learning and that all students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among a host of other targets.
According to the United Nations, currently over 265 million children do not go to school, 22% of whom are of primary school age. Moreover, it points out that in many parts of the world, the children who are attending school are lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills. Nonetheless, progress has been made in access to educational levels over the last decade, especially in the case of women and girls. However, this Sustainable Development Goal seeks to make greater advances in universal education.
FIIAPP is for education
We at FIIAPP are fully aware of the importance of education for society. Accordingly, the Foundation manages several projects focusing on education.
In the European Union-funded project ‘Support for the Higher Education System in Morocco’ specialists from the Regional Government in Castilla y León are working with their Moroccan counterparts to introduce techniques, methods and tools that serve to implement an ECTS credit system to assess degrees, thus bringing the Moroccan education system closer in line with the European one.
As a result of this project “Moroccan graduates will be able to present international employers, not only with a qualification, but also with its content, the acquired skills and descriptions in another language”, claims Rafael de Paz, coordinator of this project in Morocco.
Furthermore, our ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, attests to our commitment to guaranteeing quality, inclusive and equitable education for people with disabilities, given that the rate of early school leavers for people with disabilities is 43%.
“Inclusive education not only covers disability. Inclusion also involves gender, ethnic groups, indigenous peoples and nationalities in the case of Ecuador, as well as helping to inculcate values of tolerance, respect for diversity, collaboration; what I mean is it is incredible the type of education that you can receive beyond mathematics, literature or the staple school subjects” says Paola Hinojosa, an inclusive education technician with the National Council for Equality of Disabilities (CONADIS) in Ecuador.
Furthermore, FIIAPP is working together with the Castilla y León Regional Government’s Ministry of Education to reinforce the quality of the Algerian university system and to contribute to the development of the country’s economy through the project “Support for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to Enhance the Teaching Skills of the Teachers-Researchers and Administration Management”. This twinning project will provide Algeria with important organisational and methodological support so the Ministry can push through reforms and contribute to the success of the new vision for education, training and research. It will do this by methodically addressing the European recommendations on higher education established in the framework of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area.
28 March 2019
International Women’s Day has become one of the most strongly supported international days of the year. At FIIAPP, we are aware of the importance of gender inclusion in our projects and we are committed to an equality plan within the FoundationThe Government Delegate for Gender Violence, Pilar Llop Cuenca; the Director of OBERAXE, Karoline Fernández and the Head of Communication with the El PacCto project, María Jesús Martín at the round table held to mark International Women's Day at FIIAPP's headquarters
Currently, around 7.55 billion people inhabit the planet. According to United Nations data, 49.5% of these are women, which translates into 3.71 billion.
There are many obstacles that women face by simply being women. The OECD report “The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle”, shows that women are still at a disadvantage in all areas of life and in all countries with respect to men.
The Global Wage Report 2016/2017 prepared by the International Labour Organization (ILO) highlights that the wage gap increases as wages increase. According to data in a Eurostat report, in Spain in 2016, the gender wage gap was 14.9% compared to a European average 16.7%.
Likewise, of all the people living in extreme poverty, 75% are women and girls. Of the total number of children who do not attend school, 60% are girls and, although women account for half of the food produced, they only own 1% of cultivated land.
8 March, International Women’s Day
International Working Women’s Day was institutionalised by the United Nations on 8 March 1975 under the name International Women’s Day. However, the day was celebrated for the first time on 19 March 1911 in Europe, specifically in Germany, Austria, Denmark and Switzerland, and since then its commemoration has expanded to other countries.
Year after year, 8 March has become one of the international days with the greatest impact on society, as it has become a day marked by a global call-to-arms in which women join forces to demand gender equality and a fair society. An ever increasing number of men are joining in and becoming aware of the problem of inequality that women face.
“Gender equality is, fundamentally, a matter of power. We live in a world dominated by men, with a culture that is dominated by men. “Only when we understand the rights of women as a common goal, as a path to change for the benefit of all, will we begin to tip the balance“, the Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres highlighted in his message for World Women’s Day in 2019.
“Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”
In 2019, the slogan for International Women’s Day has been “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”. This slogan places innovation by women at the centre of their efforts to achieve gender equality, since this requires social innovations that are valid for both men and women “leaving nobody behind“.
In a similar way to 8 March, women are also joining forces to raise their voices to advocate for gender equality through the #Metoo movement, which has become a protest movement that is active 365 days of the year. Through it, women around the world have had the opportunity to write about their experiences on social networks, reporting cases of sexual abuse and receiving support.
SDG 5: Gender equality
According to the United Nations, “gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but the foundation needed to achieve a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world“. In order to fulfil the objectives of the 2030 Agenda, gender equality has been included as the fifth of the Sustainable Development Goals . The wide-ranging aims of this goal include seeking to put an end to all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, eliminating all forms of violence against them, the adoption and strengthening of sound policies and the applicable of legislation to promote gender equality.
Likewise, people with disabilities also suffer from gender inequality, especially when it comes to access to education. According to Ola Abu Ghraib, Director of Research and Global Influence at the Leonard Cheshire Organisation, “mechanisms must be improved to integrate girls with disabilities into the education system, and to integrate gender into the 2030 Agenda”.
FIIAPP and gender mainstreaming
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, on 7 March, FIIAPP held a round table that was attended by the Government Delegate for Gender Violence, Pilar Llop Cuenca, and the Director of the Spanish Observatory on Racism and Xenophobia (OBERAXE), Karoline Fernández, who highlighted the discrimination suffered by immigrant women in our society. The conclusion of this debate was the importance of “mobilising and raising awareness about gender violence through education“.
FIIAPP wants to position itself as the first Spanish foundation active in the field of public sector cooperation to apply gender inclusion both internally and externally. The Foundation is, therefore, developing an equality plan that aims to offer the same opportunities to men and women within the institution.
According to Manuel Sánchez, a project technician with FIIAPP, the Foundation “has two main challenges: one is to include a focus on gender within the foundation with a plan and a specific programme for this, and on the other hand the responsibility we have as male and female workers to incorporate this into our projects.
14 March 2019
Laura Cárdenas is the author of this text and a EUROsociAL + expert in the development of an awareness strategy for alternative measures to prisonPhotograph of a prison in Latin America
Just like every week, Miguel comes to PROMESEM, the Social and Community Insertion Program of the National Institute of Social Inclusion of Adolescents Uruguay (INISA). Every day psychologists, social educators, professors and teachers await to work closely with him and to comply with the sanction imposed by the court for the crime he committed, after a year of confinement, now in an open environment. “They are my guardian angels,” he explains. And that is the atmosphere in the INISA centre. Hugs, smiles, the smell of incense, decorated walls and teenagers, men and women, who are looking for encouragement and a way to make up for the damage they caused, to society and to themselves.
Miguel is one of more than 300 teenagers who are under the protection of INISA, the governing body in charge of young people guilty of criminal conduct, within a system in which imprisonment “has been the rule rather than the exception”, according to its president, Gabriela Fulco. That is why the State has created a new model for addressing non-custodial measures that “responds to the need to comply with the commitment acquired by the State on ratifying the Convention on the Rights of the Child ” and implies more extensive application of socio-educational and reintegration measures, facilitating the continuity of the social and family lives of teenagers and establishing peace within the community.
Because of this, the European Union, through its EUROsociAL + programme, which is managed by the FIIAPP, is assisting INISA in this process by exchanging experiences and good practices in European and Latin American public policies in this area. These include designing a communication and awareness-raising strategy to serve as a guide to raise awareness among Uruguay’s citizens, state institutions, media and private sector of the need to promote the application of measures other than imprisonment to improve social cohesion.
As explained by Fulco, from the perspective of both children’s rights and citizen security, imprisonment does not solve the problem of insecurity or improve the possibilities of social reintegration of teenagers. However, the model that applies alternative sanctions to imprisonment through socio-educational measures has demonstrated internationally lower rates of recidivism and greater reintegration.
PROMESEN serves teenagers who have previously been imprisoned and others who have not . According to its director, Fernanda Albistur, there is a big difference between them: “Those who come after being incarcerated are stunned, during the initial weeks they do not even want to leave the house and many are afraid to come alone. They keep hearing the noises of the prison, the padlocks, the doors … It is much more difficult to get them to participate in the programme. Confinement also aggravates the family situation and all the conflicts they had prior to their detention and that were frozen reappear, “explains Albistur. “We often ask ourselves what we can do to repair the institutional damage caused by confinement, what we can do to repair the horrible experiences they have had.”
Miguel went every week to the geriatric hospital Piñeiro del Campo, where elderly homeless people live, as part of one of the community service programmes the socio-educational sanction requires.
Laura Berois, a teacher, accompanied the teenagers in this activity. “They have very complex lives and when faced with situations more difficult than theirs they become aware of how important it is to look after themselves,” she says.
Mariela, who also participates in this programme, lives with her parents and grandparents in a neighbourhood that she does not like, she explains. Now Mariela says that she has realised that “it is useless to take the easy way. You have to fight and live peacefully with other human beings . ” Mariela imagines a future in which she can continue with her studies “to work and bring up my family because I want to be a nurse to be able to heal people”. “I still have two months left to keep coming, but I’m going to do it. In addition, there are good people here, they help us “, she emphasises.
Sofia Rodríguez is one of the PROMESEM educators. Every day, she faces the challenging task of seeing the conditions in which the teenagers live. Their basic needs and rights have been totally violated which is why “they care so little about their own lives”. They are teenagers who are totally excluded from society, from the education system, who are born and live in a criminal environment, which is why Sofia asks: “How can they be expected to respect the rights of others if all their own rights have been totally violated? Nobody questions why adolescents in trouble with the law do not belong to the middle or upper classes, but to the poor. As a society, we are responsible for what is happening”, she insists.
“ Most have been neglected throughout their lives . Some have serious psychological disorders and cannot distinguish between right and wrong”, explains Carolina, one of the centre’s psychologists. However, all the workers at the centre praise these teenagers’ resilience.
“I have never been treated as well as at Piñeiro Hospital. What’s more, the old people were always waiting for us and when we left they were sad. We did art together and even did an exhibition of the works at Santo Domingo City Hall”, says Miguel. Now, Miguel, thanks to the agreement between the Municipality of Montevideo and INISA and, above all, to his change of attitude, has found a job and will be able to meet the needs of his newborn son and those of his family.
28 February 2019
Climate change is increasingly evident. The FIIAPP is committed to sustainability through two projects focused on renewable energies and climate change: Cuba-Renewables and EUROCLIMA +.Dam located in Bolivia
Renewable energies are clean, inexhaustible resources provided by nature. Unlike fossil fuels, producing energy this way does not emit greenhouse gases or pollution, so it does not affect climate change.
At the Paris Climate Change Conference held in December 2015, otherwise known as COP21, 195 countries signed the world’s first binding climate agreement. This agreement establishes a global action plan to keep global warming below 2ºC between 2020 and 2030.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, if the share of renewable energies in the global energy scenario were doubled to 32% in 2030, this would improve wellbeing by 3.7% and increase employment in the sector to more than 24 million people.
There are numerous sources of renewable energy such as wind energy, solar energy (obtained from the sun), and hydro energy (obtained from rivers and freshwater flows), biomass and biogas (from organic matter), geothermal energy (obtained from the interior of the Earth), tidal energy, wave energy, bioethanol (obtained by fermenting vegetable products) and biodiesel (obtained from vegetable oils).
Renewable energy accounts for 46.7% of installed capacity in Spain. According to data extracted from the Report on the Spanish electricity system 2018 published by Red Eléctrica de España in 2018, renewable generation on the Peninsula increased from 33.7% to 40.1%.
What are the advantages of renewable energies?
As we have already said, renewable energy production does not emit greenhouse gases, so it’s a clean solution that avoids environmental damage and does not affect climate change.
Unlike traditional energy sources, renewable energies are also inexhaustible. These energies are as available as the sun they originate from and adapt to natural cycles .
Because they are developed in the regions where they are installed, they make regions more energy-autonomous.
Nor do they entail any risks to health since they are obtained naturally and can be used in all circumstances.
Transition to 100% renewable energy sources
LUT University and the Energy Watch Group have published a report that shows the viability of a European energy transition towards 100% renewable sources. This study shows what it would mean to start using 100% renewable energy sources as opposed to those currently available, eliminating fossil fuels in all sectors before 2050.
The study also highlights that electricity generation in the 100% renewable energy system will consist of a combination of solar, photovoltaic, wind, hydroelectric, bioenergy and geothermal energy sources .
The data published in this study “demonstrate that Europe can switch to a zero-emission energy system . Therefore, European leaders can and must do far more to protect the climate than what is on the table today”, said Hans-Josef Fell, chairman of the Energy Watch Group.
EUROCLIMA + and Cuba-Renovables
The FIIAPP participates in the management of two projects focused on climate change and renewable energies. On the one hand, the EUROCLIMA + programme, funded by the European Union, aims to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, because in this region urban transport shows a continuous increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
“The fact that most of the population lives in cities, the use of public transport and a high index of renewable energy in the energy matrix, make Latin America an excellent scenario for sustainable mobility”, said Horst Pilger, sector head of the General Directorate of International Cooperation and Development of the European Union during COP24, held in December 2018.
On the other hand, the project for the promotion of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Cuba, developed as a cooperation strategy between the EU and Cuba, also known as Cuba-Renovables, supports the effective implementation of the policy for the development perspective of renewable sources of energy and the efficient use of energy and its regulatory framework.
“We mustn’t forget that Cuba is a country rich in renewable resources and dependent on external fossil resources. Therefore, developing renewable energies would make an important contribution to the environment, and mean energy independence for the island, “says Maite Jaramillo, coordinator of the Cuba-Renovables project.
Likewise, “the FIIAPP will contribute with experts’ exchanges and based on the work experience we already have in the country and the understanding we have with Cuba. In addition, it will contribute to the creation of networks in the sector”, he says.
SDG 7: Guarantee access to affordable, safe, sustainable and modern energy for all.
In 2015, world leaders adopted a series of global objectives, known as Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and improve citizens’ rights. In the case of renewable energies, these are mentioned in SDG number seven, which aims to guarantee access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.