Spain Country Profile (World Bank)

Status under International Climate Change Law

  • UNFCCC: signature and ratification (29th of April, 1998).
  • KP: signature and ratification (10th of May, 2002. Published in the Official Journal on the 8th of February, 2005 –BOE number 33-).
    • Quantified emission limitation or reduction commitment: + 15%.
  • Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozono Layer: signature and ratification (13th of July, 1988. BOE number 275, 16th of November, 1988).
  • Montreal Protocol: signature and ratification (10th of March, 1989. BOE number 65, 17th of March, 1989).
  • LRTAP: signature and ratification (15th of June, 1982) as well as signature and ratification of the 7 Protocols
  • Energy Charter Treaty: signature and ratification (16th of December, 1997 + Trade Amendment 21st of December, 2001).
  • Energy Charter Protocol on Energy Efficiency and related environmental issues: signature (17th of December, 1994). Entry into force (16th of April, 1998).
  • Espoo Convention: signature (26th of February, 1991) and ratification (10th of September, 1992)
  • International Convention on Civil Liability for Bunker Oil Pollution Damage: signature (27th of September 2002). Entry into force (21st of November 2008) [English, Spanish].
  • Energy Charter Treaty (The Hague, 1991): Signed (17th of December, 1994); ratified (11th of December, 1997); entry into force (16th of April, 1998).
  • The Protocol on Energy Efficiency and Related Environmental Aspects (PEEREA, Lisbon, 1994); signed (17th of December, 1994); Ratified (14th of December, 1997); entry into force (16th of April, 1998) [English, Spanish].
  • 2030 Commitment: 40% domestic reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2030, to be fulfilled jointly by European Union member states (10% decrease in domestic emissions below 2005 levels by 2020, in accordance with Decision No. 406/2009/EC of the European Parliament and Council)
    • INDC summary – includes LULUCF and gases covered (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions 2015)
    • INDC summary – includes adaptation and conditions for implementation (Climate Policy Observer 2016)

Federal Laws on Climate Change

Climate Change

  • Law 16/2002, 1st of July, on integrated prevention and control of pollution (transposing Directive 96/61/EC, and amended by Law 1/2005; by Law 13/2010; by Law 29/2006, of 18th of July, referring to public access to environmental information –transposing Directives 2003/4 and 2003/53-; by Law 34/2007, 15th of November, on air quality and atmosphere protection; by Law 42/2007, 13th of December, on natural wealth and biodiversity; and by Law 40/2010, 21st of December, on the geological storage of CO2 that transposes Directive 2009/31, and developed by Royal Decree 509/2007, of 20th of April, approving the regulation for the development and execution of Law 16/2002).
  • Royal Decree 430/2004, of 12th of March, establishing new ways to limit atmosphere emission coming from some large combustion plants contaminating agents (amended by RD 687/2011, 13th of May).
  • Law 1/2005, 9th of March, concerning the regulation of the greenhouse emission allowance-trading scheme (transposing Directive 2003/87/CE, and amended by RDL 5/2005, 11th March, L 22/2005, 18th Nov and Law 13/2010, 5th of July, transposing Directives 2008/101 and 2009/29). This Law:
    • Prepared the approval of the First National Plan for Allocation of Emissions (PNA 2005-2008);
    • Regulated the National Registry of GHG Emissions Rights (RENADE); and
    • Created the Spanish National Authority for Proyect-Based Mechanisms of the KP.
  • Royal Decree 1264/2005, of 21st of October, on the regulation of the organization and procedure of the Emission Rights National Register.
  • Royal Decree 1031/2007, of 20th of July, developing the framework for participation in Kyoto Protocol flexibility mechanisms.
  • Law 13/2010, 5th of July, amending Law 1/2005, as to improve and extent the greenhouse emission allowance-trading scheme and include the aviation sector (transposing Directives 2008/101 and 2009/29).
  • Royal Decree 301/2011, of 4th of March, on equivalent mitigation measures to the participation in the Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading Scheme in order to exclude small-scale installations.
  • Royal Decree 1494/2011, of 24th of October, on the regulation of a Carbon Fund for a sustainable low-carbon economy:
  • Royal Decree 455/2012, of 5th of March, on the establishment of the measures for ensuring the reduction of petrol vapor emissions from refueling activities.
  • Royal Decree-Law 17/2012, 4th of May, of urgent measures on the environment (converted into Law through the Cambers of Deputies Resolution of 17th of May, 2012).


  • Law 16/2002, 1st of July, on the pollution integrated prevention and control (modified by different Laws: 1/2005, 9th of March; 27/2006, 18th of July; 27/2006, 18th of July; 34/2007, 15th of November; 42/2007, 13th of December; 40/2010, 29th of December, and Law 5/2013, 11th June)
  • Law 34/2007, 15th of November, of the air quality and atmosphere protection (amended by Royal Decree 100/2011, 28th of January, that updates the catalogue of the potential atmosphere contaminating activities).
  • Royal Decree 102/2011, 28th of January, on the improvement of the air quality.


  • Law 25/1964, of 29th of April, on Nuclear Energy (amended by L15/1980, 22nd April, L21/1990, 19thDec, L14/1999, 4th May.
  • Royal Decree 1836/1999, of 3rd of December, approving the Regulation on nuclear and radioactive installations (amended by Nuclear Safety Instruction IS/05, 26th Feb, RD 35/2008, 18th January, RD 1308/2011, 18th January, Law 12/2011, 27th May).
  • Law 54/1997, of 27th of November, on the regulation of the Electric Sector (amended by L66/1997, 30thDec, L34/1998, 7th Oct, L50/1998, 30th Dec, L36/2003, 11th Nov, L62/2003, 30th Dec, RDL 5/2005, 11thMarch, L24/2005, 18th Nov, RDL 7/2006, 23rd Jun, L 17/2007, 4th Jul, L 33/2007, 7th Nov, RDL 1/2008, 11th Jan, L 11/2009, 26th Oct, L 25/2009, 22nd Dec, RDL 14/2010, 23rd Dec, L 40/2010, 29th Dec, L 2/2011, 4th March, RDL 13/2012, 30th March, RDL 20/2012, 13th Jul, and affected by Constitutional Court Judgment 18/2011, 3rd March, 2011).
  • Royal Decree 1955/2000, of 1st of December, on the regulation of the transport, distribution, commercialization, supply and the authorization procedures for electrical energy installations (affected by the Supreme Court Judgment of 16th Oct, 2003 and amended by RD 2351/2004, 23rd Oct, RD 1454/2005, 2ndDec, RD 1634/2006, 29th Dec, RD 616/2007, 11th May, RD 198/2010, 26th Feb, RD 1699/2011, 18th Nov).
  • Law 34/1998, of 7th of October, on the hydrocarbons sector (amended by L50/1998, 30th Dec, L55/1999, 29th Dec, RDL 6/2000, 23rd Jun, l24/2001, 27th Dec, L53/2002, 30th Dec, L13/2003, 23rd May, L62/2003, 30th Dec, RDL 5/2005, 11th March, L24/2005, 18th Nov, RDL 4/2006, 24th Feb, RDL 7/2006, 23rdJun, L 12/2007, 2nd Jul, RDL 1/2009, 23rd Feb, RDL 6/2009, 30th Apr, L 25/2011, 4th March, L 2/2011, 4thMarch, L 12/2011, 27th May, RDL 13/2012, 30th March).
  • Royal Decree 1027/2007, of 20th of July, approving the regulation of the thermal system on buildings (amended by RD 1826/2009, 27th Nov, RD 249/2010, 5th March).
  • Royal Decree 235/2013, of 5th of April, on the approval of the procedure for the energy efficiency certification for buildings.
  • Law 8/2013, of 26th of June, of urban rehabilitation, regeneration and renovation.
  • Law 22/1973, of 21st of July, on Mining (amended by Law 54/1980, 5th Nov, RL-D 1303/1986, 28thJune, Law 50/1985, 27th Dec, Law 12/2007, 2nd July, Law 25/2009, 22nd Dec, and Law 40/2010, 29th Dec).
  • Royal Decree 975/2009, on the 12th of June, on the management of the waste from extractive industries and the rehabilitation of the land affected by the waste (amended by RD 777/2012, 4th May).

Forests and Land Use

Environmental Impact Assessment


  • Law 21/1992, of 16th of July, on the Industry (amended by Law 25/2009, 22nd December and affected by the Constitutional Court ruling No 162/2008, 15th of December, declaring article 31 against the Spanish Constitution).
  • Royal Decree 1254/1999, of 16th of July, approving the control of risks measures regarding important accidents involving hazardous substances (amended by RD 119/2005, 4th February and RD 948/2005, 29thJuly).
  • Law 38/1999, of 5th of November, on Building Planning (amended by L 24/2001, 27th Dec, L 53/2002, 30th Dec).
    • Royal Decree 314/2006, of 17th of March, approving the Technical Building Code (amended by RD 1371/2007, 19th Oct., RD 173/2010, 19th Feb, RD 410/2010, 31st March, and affected by Judgment of the Supreme Court of 4th of May 2010).
  • Law 9/2003, of 25th of April, on the regulation of the contained use voluntary release and commercialization of genetically modified organisms.
  • Law 24/2005, 18th of November, on the reforms for a productivity boost (amended by L 42/2006, 28thDec).
  • Law 27/2006, 18th of July, on the regulation of the rights of access to the information, the participation of the public and the justice, regarding the environment (transposing Directives 2003/4/EC and 2003/35/EC and amended by RDL 1/2008, 11th Jan)
  • Law 26/2007, of 23rd of October, on environmental responsibility (amended by Law 40/2010, 29th of December; Royal Decree-Law 8/2011, 1st July; and Decree-Law 3/2009, 29th May and developed by Royal Decree 2090/2008, of 22nd of December).

National Plans, Programs and Initiatives

Local, State, and Regional Legislation and Initiatives

Government Documents

Additional Resources

  • Climate change – Spain (Climate Change Post)
  • Spain Climate change impacts on water systems (OECD Secretariat) (2013)
  • Spain (Europe’s Energy Portal)
  • EU Country Profile (Climate Action Tracker) (2015)
  • Energy (Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Tourism)
  • Publications
    • Remiro Brotóns & R.Mª Fernández Egea (Coord.). El Cambio Climático en el Derecho internacional y Comunitario. Fundación BBVA, 2009.
    • Lozano Cutanda. Derecho ambiental administrativo. Dykinson, 2009.
    • Lozano Cutanda y J-C. Alli Turrillas. Undécimo Capítulo de Adminisiración y Legislación Ambiental, 6ª edición, Dykinson, Madrid, 2011.
    • Arana. ‘The Fight Against Climate Change in Spain”. European Energy and Environmental Law Review Volume 20 (2011) Issue 5;, pp. 176–186.
    • Fundación Premios Rey Jaume I (Edt.). Cambio Climático y sus consecuencias, 2007.
    • I.Sainz Rubiales. El Mercado Europeo de Derechos de Emisión. Lex Nova, 2010.
    • J.J. Marín Arribas (Coord.) Hacia una política comunitaria europea en cambio climático y sus consecuencias para España. Universidad de Burgos, Servicio de Publicaciones, 2009.
    • L Parejo Alfonso. “Servicios públicos y servicios de interés general: la renovada actualidad de los primeros”. Revista de Derecho de la Unión Europea nº 7, 2º semester 2004, pp. 51-68.
    • L Parejo Alfonso & A. M. Moreno Molina. Código de Medio Ambiente. Aranzadi Thomson Reuters, Pamplona, 2011.
    • Mª Á. González Bustos & D. Fernández de Gatta Sánchez & M. Á. González Iglesias. Legislación sobre cambio climático. Tecnos, 2009.
    • Mª C. Alonso García. “El nuevo régimen jurídico del Mercado Europeo de derechos de emisión de gases de efecto invernadero”. Justicia Administrativa. Nº. 56, 2012, pp. 23-44.
    • M. Sarasíbar Iriarte. Régimen Jurídico del cambio climático. Lex Nova, Valladolid, 2006.
    • M. M. Razquin Lizárraga. “Enegía y medioambiente. Marco normativo y aplicación judicial”. Revista Aranzadi de Derecho Ambiental nº 21, 2012, p. 23-60.
    • R. Mata Olmo (Dir.). Energía, transporte, ciudad y territorio. ¿Hacia dónde vamos?. Revista Ciudad y Territorio. Estudios Territoriales. Vol. XLIV. Cuarta Época, nº 171, primavera 2012.
    • S. González Sánchez. El Tercer período de comercio de derechos de emission: novedades en el sistema jurídico español a partir de 2013. Revista Aranzadi de Derecho Ambiental nº 21, 2012, pp 239-275.
    • T. Parejo Navajas, “Spanish Climate Change Policy: an ambitious bet on renewable energies”, included in Marjan Peeters, Mark Stallworthy, Javier de Cendra de Larragán (Eds.). Climate Law in EU Member States: Towards National Legislation for Climate Protection, Edward Elgard, UK, Forthcoming 2012.

Updated as of: May 8, 2016