Fundació Roger Torné has commented many actions and initiatives that are favorable to a sustainable and healthy environment for families, having children’s respiratory health as main axis in our proposals. The quality of air in urban areas and the way that our life style can have an influence on the air we are breathing or affect it, have captured a good deal of our attention, as we recently informed in Children’s Respiratory Health is everybody’s duty.
“Sustainability in Spain 2011” Report has just been presented in Madrid by Mr Luis M. Jiménez Herrero, Chief Executive Officer in the Observatorio de la Sostenibilidad en España (OSE). The sustainable and healthy proposals acquire an additional importance “Sustainability in Spain 2011” report brings up the danger that budget cuts in the current context of economic and financial crisis, are supposing for the sustainable development of our economies. Nevertheless, the report finishes saying that there is a tendency of progressive improvement in the quality of the air, although there are frequent situations of high pollution in big cities, with serious impacts on the citizens’ health and quality of life.
As OSE’s director summarized to us in the article Air is the key of urban sustainability, one of the subjects that accompanies OSE’s report publication is the analysis of the consequences that air has in the citizens’ quality of life and in the cities sustainability. It concludes saying that, if cities are populated and their quality of air is healthier, this cities will also be much more sustainable and, thus, habitable.
Fundació Roger Torné commented in the article Municipal experiences on the creation of healthy urban environments, the creation of urban areas with protected atmosphere in Granollers or the installation of municipal recreational orchards in El Prat de Llobregat, as examples of sustainable actions at a local level. Through these initiatives, many Spanish manicipalities are trying to prevent and solve the effects of atmospheric pollution on human health.
One of the main factors causing atmospheric pollution and global warming comes from CO2 emissions, generated from the combustion of the sources of fossil energies used for our economic growth every day. The efforts undertaken by the European Union governments to contribute to the reduction of the said emissions has become materialized at a municipal level with the Majors Agreement, who are aware of the fact that cities and villages are directly or indirectly responsible for more than half of the global warming emissions linked to the use of energy in human activities.
This Agreement was born with the purpose of reinforcing the local efforts in sustainability questions, that were contracted during the commitments signed in Aalborg last 2004, as well as for revitalizing the Local Agenda 21, designed by the United Nations on 1992 to promote the sustainable development through actions at world, national and local levels.
To be specific, any village that subcribe the Majors Agreement, has the commitment to develop a Plan Of Action for Sustainable Energy, in order to reduce at least 20% the CO2 emissions on 2020. It is, thus, a plan of action that tries to carry out its action in two areas. First of all, it implements a group of measures favoring the gaining of energetic efficiency and, thus, allowing not wasting our energy sources according to a technology. Secondly, the plan has the purpose of reducing the consumption of pollutant sources of energy and replacing it by cleaner energies.
These measures of sustainable development are able to have a bearing in a local field and, thus, they affect directly the citizens, raising their awareness on the importance that their life style has on the gaining of energetic efficiency, on the fight against global warming and on their own health. The efficacy with which these measures are managed will guarantee the accomplishment of the desired results. The research in this area is promoted through the support that Fundació Roger Torné is giving to the Professorship on Economy of Energy and Environment.