Argentina Sustainability Issues

The critical environmental and sustainability issues of Argentina:

  1. Poverty

In 2019, the rate of Poverty in Argentina was 35.4%, as calculated by INDEC (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Censos). Extreme Poverty stood at 7.7%. Inflation does not help the situation. 

The basic food basket (BFB) has been determined taking into account the kilocaloric and protein requirements essential for an adult male, between 30 and 60 years old, who has moderate activity and covering those needs for a month. Basic Total Basket at the end of 2019 was $37,596, compared to 2018 when it was $25,206. The 49% increase wasn’t joined by an increase in people’s wages.

Poverty increasing in Argentina is directly related to the economic crisis that runs quite often in the country. The distinctive characteristic of this crisis is the outbreak inflation, which makes prices rise incredibly over the population incomes. 

More than half of the children in Argentina, at 51.7%, live below the poverty line. There is a need for immediate change, since it is a problem at present, and as a consequence, will become a problem for their future.

 

  1. Energy

In 2015, Argentina issued a law for the promotion of renewable energy that, to this day, has not been materialized. Specifically, the law projected that, by 2019, 12% of the country’s electricity generation would come from renewable sources. The final objective was to achieve a 20% clean generation by 2025. At the moment only 5% of the energy is sourced out of renewable energies.

Approximately 60% of the gas production in Argentina depended on only three or four of the nearly 100 deposits that the country has, and in recent years those deposits began to decline.

The reason of not developing new gas fields was not the lack of natural resources, but economic problems.

The crisis that hit Argentina at the end of 2001 lead the country to the end of the so-called “convertibility,” (which for a decade equated the local currency, the peso, with the US dollar). Once the peso value started being ruled by the real situation and not by the Convertibility Law, hydrocarbon production became non profitable.

At that time, the current government decided to freeze gas rates, to avoid an increase in prices, which ended up deepening the local gas industry crisis. The country-which since 2000 had stopped needing gas imports to satisfy its domestic market – began to bring fuel from abroad, increasingly. Argentina currently imports about 30% of the gas it consumes, a percentage that will continue to grow.

 

  1. Quality of Work

In 2018, 49.3% of the active population was employed in the microinformal sector and within this group of Argentines, 81.7% had low quality employment and 75.9% lacked contributions from the social security system. Argentina still has a lot of work under the table and most of the jobs are not well paid. Inflation is one of the main causes of this issue, since it increases poverty, which brings less incomes for companies. People also agree to work under nonideal conditions as long as they can work. Taxes that employers have to pay to get their employees under a legal regulation are also really high.

The wage gap between a formal sector worker and an unregistered employee is huge: while a worker who is in the full labor market received an average of 24,985 pesos per month in 2018, the informal economy employee only received $10,283.  

 

  1. Malnutrition

In February 2019, Hilal Elver, official UN rapporteur, visited Argentina and wrote a report about the situation of malnutrition in Argentina. It is important to realise that malnutrition also means obesity.

She stated that unhealthy food and drinks marketing should be restricted to promote healthy food consumption. It also highlights the importance of improving food labeling to allow consumers to make healthier product choices.

The report also speaks about the importance of protecting and promoting family farming. Family farming represents almost 80% of the producers in Argentina, and is responsible for almost half of the fruits and vegetables consumed in the country. To give support she believes Argentina should run training programs and provide financial help to family farmers.

 

5.Femicides 

In Argentina, despite the progress made in prevention, every 32 hours a woman is a victim of femicide. 64% of female victims of intentional homicides were victims of femicide. 

Thousands of women in the country suffer the daily torments of violence, before being killed. In 2018, the hotline created to help women in that situation received 169,014 calls. Eight out of ten women who call the hotline reported that they had been abused for more than a year; four out of ten reported that they had been silent victims of violence for more than five years, and eight out of ten reported abuse by their current or former partners.

The UN and EU, are at the moment running a project called Spotlight in Argentina, working especially in the provinces where femicide indexes are the worst (Jujuy, Salta and Santiago del Estero). The government and the general public are very interested and active in promoting this change. Argentina is also a very strong cultural pole in Latin America, therefore building awareness through it, also develops an opportunity of spreading awareness to neighbours societies.