Ministry of Environment (Spain)

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Ministry for the Ecological Transition
Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica
Logotipo del Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica.svg
Nuevos Ministerios (Madrid) 01.jpg
The Ministry has its headquarters in the Nuevos Ministerios government complex.
Agency overview
FormedMay 5, 1996; 23 years ago (1996-05-05) (as Ministry of Environment)
June 7, 2018 (as Ministry for the Ecological Transition)
JurisdictionEscudo de España (mazonado).svg Spanish government
HeadquartersPlaza de San Juan de la Cruz, s/n
Madrid, Spain
Minister responsible
Agency executives
Child agency
WebsiteMinistry for the Ecological Transition (in Spanish)]

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition (MITECO) is the department of the Government of Spain responsible for developmenting the government policy on fight against climate change, protecting the natural heritage, biodiversity and sea, water and energy for a more ecological and productive social model.[1]

It corresponds to the MITECO the elaboration of the national legislation on waters and coasts, environment, meteorology and climatology; the direct management of the hydraulic public domain (all types of surface and groundwater), of the maritime-terrestrial public domain (territorial waters, inland waters, natural resources of the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, as well as beaches and coasts); the representation of the Kingdom in the international organizations corresponding to these matters; as well as the coordination of actions, cooperation and agreement in the design and application of all policies that affect the scope of competences of the regions and the other public administrations, encouraging their participation through the cooperation bodies and instruments adequate.[1]

Likewise, it corresponds to the Ministry the development of the national energy and mining policy, together with the measures aimed at ensuring the energy supply, guaranteeing a correct regulation of the sector and the analysis and monitoring of these markets, together with mining competencies, all within the framework of the ecological transition.[1]

The MITECO is headed by the Ecological Transition Minister, who is appointed by the King of Spain at request of the Prime Minister, after hearing the Council of Ministers. Other high officials of the ministry are the Secretary of State for Energy, the Secretary of State for Environment and the Under Secretary for the Ecological Transition. The current minister is Teresa Ribera.[2]


The origin of the concern for environmental policies in Spain can be traced in history, reaching into the 18th century, when the Ordinances for Conservation and the increase of the Marine Mountains and for the Increase and Conservation of Forests and Plantings were promulgated (1748).[3]

By means of the Royal Decree of November 9, 1832, the newly created Ministry of Public Works was given jurisdiction over the planting and conservation of the mountains and trees, as well as the irrigation and drainage works of marshy lands.[4] A year later, the Directorate-General for Forests was created, the first administration dedicated to the conservation of nature.[5] By Royal Decree of 31 May 1837, it was established that the mounts and plantations which belonged the Crown and of unknown owner, as belonging to the Nation, they would be administered by the government. The government body entrusted with this task was the Directorate-General for Forests. In 1855 the Forestry Advisory Board was founded.

In the 20th century, the competences in the environment were varying in rank, being mere commissions, directorates-general or even secretaries of State.

All these competences of the ministry were varying between the ministries of development, agriculture and presidency, until 1993 when the term "Environment" reached the rank of ministry, creating the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment.[6]

But it was not until 1996 when the Environment obtained its own ministry during the presidency of José María Aznar, creating the Ministry of Environment that was in force until 2011 (in 2008 the Ministry assumed the powers in Rural and Marine Environment[7]). In 2011, the new prime minister Mariano Rajoy merged this ministry with the Ministry of Agriculture, creating the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (2011-2016) and later the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (2016-2018).

In 2018, with the arrival of Pedro Sánchez to the premiership, he regained the ministry's autonomy by creating a ministry focused on carrying out an energy transition towards more ecological means of production, the Ministry for the Ecological Transition.[8] For this purpose Sánchez appointed Teresa Ribera as minister and her ministry assumed for the first time responsibilities on energy policy, a policy that historicaly belonged to the Ministry of Industry or Economy.

Denomination of the Ministry[edit]

Despite his long career, the ministry did not reach the rank of ministry until 1993:

  • Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Environment (1993-1996)
  • Ministry of Environment (1996-2008)
  • Ministry of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs (2008-2011)
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment (2011-2016)
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (2016-2018)
  • Ministry for the Ecological Transition (2018-)
Teresa Ribera, current Ecological Transition Minister.


  • Secretariat of State for Energy
    • Directorate-General for Energy Policy and Mines
  • Secretariat of State for Environment
    • Directorate-General for Water
    • Spanish Office of Climate Change
    • Directorate-General for Biodiversity and Environmental Quality
    • Directorate-General for Sustainability of the Coast and the Sea
  • Undersecretariat for the Ecologial Transition
    • Technical General Secretariat

Ministry agencies and enterprises[edit]

  • Agency for National Parks.
  • State Meteorological Agency.
  • Institute for the Restructuring of Coal Mining and Alternative Development of the Mining Regions.
  • Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy.
  • City of Energy Foundation.
  • Biodiversity Foundation.
  • National Company of Radioactive Waste.
  • Strategic Reserves of Petroleum Products Corporation.

Ministers of Environment[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Royal Decree 864/2018, of July 13, which develops the basic organic structure of the Ministry for Ecological Transition". Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  2. ^ "Teresa Ribera, Director of IDDRI, appointed Minister for the Ecological Transition in the new Spanish Governement". IDDRI. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  3. ^ APAF-Madrid. "Tres siglos de Guardería". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  4. ^ "Royal Decree of November 9, 1832". 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  5. ^ Marraco Solana, Santiago (1991). La política forestal española: Evolución reciente y perspectivas (PDF).
  6. ^ "Royal Decree 1173/1993, of July 13, on the Restructuring of Ministerial Departments". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  7. ^ "Royal Decree 432/2008, of April 12, by which the ministerial departments are restructured". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  8. ^ "BRoyal Decree 355/2018, of June 6, by which the ministerial departments are restructured". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.

External links[edit]