In 2015, the UN adopted a Sustainable Development Agenda for 2030, consisting of 17 goals to make a better world. Since then, many governments, companies, and institutions have taken up the challenge and are aligning themselves to these goals.

On 28 January, the consultancy Idencity presented an SDG Index that evaluates the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals by the provincial capitals of Spain. The index analyses for the first time 125 of the 169 goals of the 2030 Agenda.

According to the report, Barcelona is the provincial capital with the highest compliance with SDG 1 (End poverty) and 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure). It is also in the second position in SDG 12 (Responsible production and consumption), 14 (Underwater life), and 17 (Partnerships to achieve goals). Madrid, Barcelona, and San Sebastian top the list of capitals that most meet the SDGs.

In terms of autonomous communities, Catalonia, Andalusia, and the Basque Country are the most represented among the top five of the 17 objectives. Almost all the regions are represented with one of their capitals in the top 5 of some of the goals.

Health, peace and decent work: the capitals’ strengths

The three SDGs in which Spanish capitals score best are health, peace, and decent work, while partnerships, terrestrial ecosystems, and climate are the ones that need the most improvement. The health goal is 85% met, while the climate goal is only 32% attained. Considering that the overall performance stands at 60%, the results are quite optimistic, although there is still a long way to go.

During the index presentation, Emilia Saiz, Secretary-General of United Cities and Local Governments, warned of the SDGs importance as a framework for defining a new social contract. “We need to ensure that local and regional governments are actively and fully involved in all stages of the process; in the definition, implementation, and monitoring of their strategy,” pointed Saiz.

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