Ministry of Environment (Spain)

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (MITECO) is the department of the Government of Spain responsible for developing the government policy on fight against climate change, prevention of pollution, protecting the natural heritage, biodiversity, forests, sea, water and energy for a more ecological and productive social model.[3] Likewise, it is responsible for the elaboration and development of the government policy against the country's demographic challenges (population ageing, territorial depopulation, floating population effects, etc.).[3]

Ministry for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge
Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico
Logotipo del Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico.svg
Nuevos Ministerios (Madrid) 01.jpg
The Ministry has its headquarters in the Nuevos Ministerios government complex.
Agency overview
FormedMay 5, 1996; 26 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
Employees6,129 (2019)[1]
Annual budget 13.8 billion, 2021[2]
Minister responsible
Agency executives
  • Sara Aagesen Muñoz, Secretary of State for Energy
  • Hugo Alfonso Morán, Secretary of State for Environment
  • Miguel Ángel González Suela, Under-Secretary
Child agency
WebsiteMinistry for the Ecological Transition (in Spanish)

It corresponds to the MITECO the elaboration of the national legislation on waters and coasts, environment, climate change, 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.[3]

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.[3]

The MITECO is headed by the Ecological Transition Minister, who is appointed by the Monarch at request of the Prime Minister. Other high officials of the ministry are the Secretary of State for Energy, the Secretary of State for Environment, the Secretary-General for the Demographic Challenge and the Under-Secretary of the Department. The current minister is Teresa Ribera since 2018.[4]


The history of environmental policy in Spain reaches back to 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).[5]

The Royal Decree of November 9, 1832, gave the newly created Ministry of Public Works jurisdiction over the planting and conservation of the mountains and trees, as well as the irrigation and drainage works of marshy lands.[6] A year later, the Directorate-General for Forests was created, the first administration dedicated to the conservation of nature.[7] 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.[8]

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[9]). 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.[10] For this purpose Sánchez appointed Teresa Ribera as minister and her ministry assumed for the first time responsibilities on energy policy, a policy that historically belonged to the ministries of Industry or Economy.

In 2020, in order to improve the environmental policies that this department was doing, the Prime Minister promoted minister Ribera to the rank of Deputy Prime Minister[11] and it trusted her the responsibilities on the different demographic challenges that Spain had.[12] Nowadays, the official name (in Spanish) is Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica y el Reto Demográfico as a new, changed name from the previously named Ministerio del Medio Ambiente.

Denomination of the MinistryEdit

Despite its long history, the agency 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 (2018-2020)
  • Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (2020-)
Teresa Ribera, current Ecological Transition Minister.


The Ministry's structure is:[13]

  • The Secretariat of State for Energy
    • The Commissioner for the Promotion of Sustainable Energy in the Islands, created to coordinate and promote public policies for sustainable energy in the Balearic and Canary archipelagos.
    • The Directorate-General for Energy Policy and Mines
    • The Deputy Directorate-General for Energy Foresight, Strategy and Regulation
  • The Secretariat of State for Environment
    • The Directorate-General for Water
    • The Spanish Office for Climate Change
    • The Directorate-General for Environmental Quality and Evaluation
    • The Directorate-General for the Coast and the Sea
    • The Directorate-General for Biodiversity, Forests and Desertification
  • The General Secretariat for the Demographic Challenge.
    • The Directorate-General for Depopulation Policies
  • The Undersecretariat for the Ecologial Transition
    • The Technical General Secretariat
    • The Directorate-General for Services
    • The Deputy Directorate-General for International Relations

Ministry agencies and enterprisesEdit

Ministers of EnvironmentEdit

Reign of Juan Carlos I (1975-2014)Edit

Beginning End Name Party
12 March 1991 5 May 1996 Josep Borrell PSOE
6 May 1996 27 April 2000 Isabel Tocino PP
14 April 2000 28 February 2003 Jaume Matas PP
28 February 2003 17 April 2004 Elvira Rodríguez PP
18 April 2004 12 April 2008 Cristina Narbona PSOE
14 April 2008 20 October 2010 Elena Espinosa PSOE
20 October 2010 22 December 2011 Rosa Aguilar PSOE
22 December 2011 28 April 2014 Miguel Arias Cañete PP

Reign of Felipe VI (2014-present)Edit

Beginning End Name Party
28 April 2014 7 June 2018 Isabel García Tejerina PP
7 June 2018 Incumbent Teresa Ribera PSOE


  1. ^ Ministry of Territorial Policy and Civil Service (2018). Statistical Bulletin of the personnel at the service of the Public Administrations (PDF). p. 48. {{cite book}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  2. ^ "2021 State Budget" (PDF). 4 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b c d "Royal Decree 500/2020, of April 28, which develops the basic organic structure of the Ministry for Ecological Transition nad Demographic Challenge". Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  4. ^ "Teresa Ribera, Director of IDDRI, appointed Minister for the Ecological Transition in the new Spanish Governement [sic]". IDDRI. Retrieved 2019-04-15.
  5. ^ APAF-Madrid. "Tres siglos de Guardería". (in European Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  6. ^ "Royal Decree of November 9, 1832". 2012-01-18. Archived from the original on 2012-01-18. Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  7. ^ Marraco Solana, Santiago (1991). La política forestal española: Evolución reciente y perspectivas (PDF).
  8. ^ "Royal Decree 1173/1993, of July 13, on the Restructuring of Ministerial Departments". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  9. ^ "Royal Decree 432/2008, of April 12, by which the ministerial departments are restructured". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  10. ^ "BRoyal Decree 355/2018, of June 6, by which the ministerial departments are restructured". (in Spanish). Retrieved 2018-06-16.
  11. ^ Sesay, Isha (2020-01-10). "Pedro Sánchez reveals Spain's new look coalition government - Euro Weekly News Spain News News Article". Euro Weekly News Spain. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  12. ^ Jones, Sam (2020-03-02). "The hollowing out of Spain – and the minister trying to reverse it". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-05-09.
  13. ^ "Royal Decree 139/2020, of January 28, which establishes the basic organic structure of the ministerial departments". Retrieved 2020-01-30.

External linksEdit