The Basque Government has presented today, at the United Nations, the sixth Voluntary Monitoring Report on the Basque Country 2030 Agenda
- This year, the first Basque Country Bultzatu 2050 Urban Agenda Monitoring Report and a report on the alignment of the Basque Government’s budget with the SDGs have been added
- The challenges for 2023 are more dissemination, more energy-climate transition and more “concrete methodology” for the 2030 Agenda
- The Basque Country Urban Agenda report highlights that progress has been made in terms of the right to housing and in building more innovative and environmentally sustainable cities
- The contribution of budgets to sustainable development is materialised in the promotion of economic growth, distributive equity, efficiency and stabilisation to generate certainty for economic agents
- The Lehendakari has addressed the Now, 2030 Proposal to the UN, to raise the ambition of the World Summit of the SDGs convened for September
The Basque Government has today sent the sixth Voluntary Monitoring Report on the Basque Country 2030 Agenda to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). On this occasion, a specific report on the Basque Country Bultzatu 2050 Urban Agenda and an appendix on the alignment of the Basque budget with the SDGs have been added for the first time.
The press conference was attended by the Secretary General for Social Transition and Agenda 2030, Jonan Fernandez, who introduced the sixth general report, the Deputy Regional Minister for Territorial Planning and the Urban Agenda, Miguel de los Toyos, who presented the report on the Urban Agenda, and the Deputy Regional Minister for Economy and European Funds, Iñaki Barredo, who presented the Report on the Alignment of the 2023 Budget with the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda.
Jonan Fernandez pointed out that “commitment to the 17 SDGs requires rigorous assessment mechanisms. One of them is the Voluntary Monitoring Report. In 2018, the Basque Country was the first non-State government to present it”. This sixth report offers a balance of the more than 1,700 actions of the Basque Government in 2022, published in Irekia. It details for each SDG the legislative or planning tools, the most relevant actions associated with its targets, and the indicators with latest data and trends.
The report identifies three challenges for 2023. First, more outreach on the 2030 Agenda, and its implementation in organisations and companies. Second, more energy-climate transition: extending the commitment to renewable energy generation and consumption. And third, more concreteness. Deepening the methodology of concreteness.
Three main advances stand out in the 2022 balance sheet: (1) the consolidation of the Basque Country Agenda 2030 Forum as a collaborative governance body; (2) the panel of 53 indicators for the inter-institutional assessment of the SDGs; and (3) the decision to locate the global headquarters of Local 2030 of the United Nations in the Basque Country. An institution that seeks to contribute to the fulfilment of the SDGs from local and regional institutions around the world and from which the Basque Government will share its model of localisation and governance of the 2030 Agenda.
The document states that in 2023, “the difficulties have grown and the forecast for the fulfilment of the SDGs in the world has worsened”. This sixth report suggests to the United Nations that the SDG Summit in September “should be an opportunity that is not just a new summit of Heads of State”. Fernandez recalled that the Lehendakari has sent the Now, 2030 Proposal to the United Nations, the aim of which is to “set 2023 as a turning point, globally and locally, in the fulfilment of the SDGs”.
First Monitoring Report on the Basque Country Urban Agenda Bultzatu 2050
The Deputy Minister for Territorial Planning and the Urban Agenda, Miguel de los Toyos, explained that the Basque Country Urban Agenda Bultzatu 2050 is a tool for the autonomous community to “prioritise” sustainable urban development. In this regard, he stressed that the cities and towns of the Basque Country are at a “key moment, with the opportunity to take significant steps forward thanks to the European funding that has been activated to tackle, among others, issues linked to the four major challenges of the Urban Agenda: environmental, social, economic and technological”. The first report lays the foundations for the evaluation methodology to be followed in subsequent analyses –with 60 indicators– and identifies the actors involved in the Agenda as well as the Agenda’s objectives and eight significant projects.
The latter includes the project related to the urban regeneration of vulnerable neighbourhoods in the Basque Country, which already involves 21 municipalities throughout the autonomous community. Through proximity offices in these areas, the project works to promote the rehabilitation of buildings and housing, as well as the regeneration of the urban environment in which they are located, in order to prepare them for challenges such as climate change.
The report highlights that steps are being taken “adequately” in areas such as the promotion of the right to housing and basic facilities, in the construction of innovative cities and in environmental indicators to achieve sustainable and resilient cities.
Likewise, progress is being made in education to make diversity and inclusion the hallmarks of the city’s identity. Areas for improvement include indicators on energy use, greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, protection of ecosystems, as well as indicators related to birth rates and gender equality.
Report on the alignment of the Basque Government’s 2023 budget with the SDGs
The Deputy Minister of Economy and European Funds, Iñaki Barredo, pointed out that in order to prepare the “Report on the Alignment of the 2023 Budget of the Basque Government with the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda”, a total of 105 budget programmes classified into 26 spending functions that have an impact on the 17 SDGs of the 2030 Agenda have been aligned, totalling 557 impacts of direct and indirect application.
The report shows that there is a high budget coverage of the SDGs and the versatility of the Basque Government’s budget programmes can also be appreciated, as practically all the functions are aligned with at least 2 SDGs, with the most frequent range being between 3 and 7 SDGs. Also, 93% of budget programmes are aligned with 2 or more SDGs.
A third finding is the high degree of alignment of the budget with the triple bottom line (economic, social and environmental) of sustainable development. Thus, 37% of the budget is spent on ensuring prosperous and fulfilling lives in harmony with nature, another 37% is spent on fighting poverty and ensuring people’s dignity and equality, and 8% on protecting natural resources and the climate for future generations.
Finally, beyond the quantitative interpretation, it should be noted that the tractor axis is based on SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), which, in addition to being the core of our policies to promote growth and generate wealth, show great synergies with the rest of the social and environmental SDGs. Secondly, we should highlight the important role of the institutional SDGs (SDGs 16 and 17), which would reflect the leadership assumed by the Basque Government in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.
“Work on the 2024 budget has of course already started and the SDGs will be a key element of this.”