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Balearic Islands go green

Posted by Florence Fortnam at 12:49 on Tuesday 05 June 2018

A new set of guidelines tackles key environmental issues from waste and pollution to marine species protection

Walking in the Balearics. Photo: Balearic Islands Tourist BoardWalking in the Balearics. Photo: Balearic Islands Tourist BoardThe government of the Balearic Islands – the group of seven islands in the western Mediterranean which includes Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – has established an ambitious set of environmental targets which aim to drastically reduce CO2 emissions on the islands, with the aim to run entirely on renewable energy by 2050.

The government has approved various laws and guidelines for both the public and private sectors, such as the installation of solar panels in buildings of over 1000m sq., and disused farm buildings will have to become self-sufficient using renewables. By 2025, all businesses will have to declare their carbon footprint and publish their company’s plans on CO2 reduction. 

Other measures include a legal framework to conserve and protect the endemic marine plant Posidonia. Currently under threat from human activity such as fishing and tourism-related activities like cruising, the marine plant is of huge local importance, helping to reduce coastal erosion, and is home to 400 species of marine plants and 1,000 species of marine animals.

Port of Citutatdella. Photo: Balearic Islands Tourist BoardPort of Citutatdella. Photo: Balearic Islands Tourist BoardFurthermore, from 2025, no diesel vehicles will be able to enter the islands, and petrol vehicles will be banned altogether by 2035. All hire vehicles on the islands will need to be electric by 2050.

The objectives aim to reduce waste by 20% by 2030, with a ban on the sale of bottled water being enforced in most public-sector businesses and a reduction in disposable plastic products, from plastic bags to straws (currently accounting for 60% of waste on the islands).

The new measures aim to not only improve the general quality of life on the islands but to safeguard the islands and the marine environment for future generations.

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