Barcelona is firmly committed to improving the city’s sustainability, in other words, progressing towards a lasting, equitable development model that uses available resources wisely. This progress is only possible with the participation and implication of the general public as a whole, in defining horizons, seeking solutions and developing actions.

The Municipal Council for the Environment and Sustainability was set up in 1998. Its first objective was to help to spread the culture of sustainability throughout the city, promoting Barcelona’s Agenda 21, its implementation and follow-up.

The Council therefore enshrined the spirit of Agenda 21, formulated at the Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) and the Charter of European Cities and Towns Towards Sustainability, otherwise known as the Aalborg Charter (1994).

The Municipal Council for the Environment and Sustainability promoted the first Citizen Commitment to Sustainability - Barcelona's Agenda 21, a widely agreed document that defined principles, objectives and lines of action for the 2002-2012 period.

In 2012, the Municipal Council for the Environment and Sustainability, along with the network of organisations involved, participated in updating and renovating that Commitment. The process led to the formulation of new, cross-cutting goals for the following 10 years, 2012 to 2022.

The Commitment is the reference framework for all the organisations that assume their part of the responsibility for building a more sustainable Barcelona and contributing to this end through their actions. The network of organisations involved has grown since 2002, and now includes a large number of municipal and supra-municipal bodies, associations, companies, schools, universities, guilds, professional associations, trade unions and all kinds of groups.

The renovation of the Citizen Commitment to Sustainability led to the challenge and opportunity of reorganising the Municipal Council for the Environment and Sustainability so that it represented the various groups and sectors involved in achieving the Commitment’s goals, while also promoting new strategies for the involvement, co-responsibility and participation of civil society organisations.

This objective led to the founding of the Citizen Council for Sustainability, as a public participation body that promotes the Citizen Commitment to Sustainability, the roadmap for progressing towards a more sustainable city. In order to ensure regulatory transparency and simplification, it has been decided to approve a new regulation instead of introducing specific amendments to the previous one. This is to make it easier to read and understand, and facilitate the application of its guidelines.