THE Junta de Andalucia has launched a dramatic new initiative to revolutionise the region’s recovery from the damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the region rebuilds itself to help recover the significantly impacted economy, the Junta has created the ‘Green Seal’ badge of honour that will adorn any new project that meets new EU criteria. 

The ‘Sello Verde’ label has been created in a collaboration between the Junta and the EU’s environment committee to push Andalucia to reach Europe’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The new label will be managed by a newly set up group known as the Interdepartmental Commision on Climate Change and will aim to target all aspects of environmental impact in new development projects.

The group will focus on energy production, water purification, waste management and new business development in natural areas. 

It is estimated that the plan will be a billion euro project, with energy production and consumption demanding €17 billion for the creation of renewable energy plants and a restructuring of the use of electricity throughout the Junta.

A new plan named the Clean Water Pact will aim to inject €800 million into the purification of the region’s water whilst restructuring water supplies to all the autonomous communities to stop the effects of the summer drought.

Some €447 million will also be allocated to waste management, both public and private, with 153 separate projects planned between 2020 and 2030.

Andalucia’s fire prevention department, Infoca, will also receive a boost with a full modernisation of its fire fighting equipment and workforce.

It is expected that the ‘Sello Verde’ will apply to new coastal developments such as the Larios golf and hotel project in Maro, however it is currently unclear how the pact will affect the approval of the project given the natural devastation the development could allegedly cause.

The Junta de Andalucia is currently stuck between a rock and a hard place as it is estimated that the COVID-19 pandemic has cost the region €8.2 billion in tourism losses alone.

However in an effort to recount some of the losses, protected areas of natural habitat are currently under the chopping block for large scale developments.

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