Italy’s National Energy Strategy

Spotlight Activity: The National Energy Strategy

Italy, as a Member State of the European Union, committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2020 compared to a 1990 baseline.

In May 2018, the Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA) published the Italian Greenhouse Gas Inventory for the period 1990 – 2016. Total greenhouse gas emissions, in CO2 equivalent, excluding emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry, decreased by 17.5% between 1990 and 2016 (from 518 to 428 million tons of CO2 equivalent).

Therefore, the country seems on track to meet its 2020 goal.

Under the Paris Agreement, Italy will have a new target under the Effort Sharing Decision. The new target will be negotiated within the European Commission over the next year and should be around a reduction of 30% compared to a 2005 baseline.

So far, Italy’s main policy instruments that addresses the new 2030 climate goal is the SEN or National Energy Strategy. There is general agreement that strategies proposed in the SEN 2017 will suffice to meet the current 2030 goal. However, there are two caveats: the first one is that the SEN 2017 is far less ambitious when it comes to renewables installed and efficiency standards; the second caveat is that the SEN 2017 is conceptualized as self-standing when in reality it should be one phase of a larger scheme to achieve 80-90% decarbonization by mid-century. Thus, with a perspective of keeping the world under well under 2 degrees Celsius, the country of Italy is lagging behind. Much work needs to happen before 2020, when the Italian government will have to submit a second energy-climate package that covers the period 2021-2050, with the objective of deep climate mitigation.

Status: Falling Behind

The National Energy Strategy (SEN) 2017 is a move in the right direction because its policies on paper lead to the greenhouse gas emission reductions agreed upon for in the 2030 EU goal. However, the SEN 2017 alone is far from sufficient in the broader Paris Agreement scheme of achieving deep carbonization to keep the world well below 2 degrees Celsius.

Take Action

Reach out to the newly elected Ministry for the Environment ( and to the Ministry of Economic Development ( Please send them the following message:

Dear Ministries,
Although the National Energy Strategy is a good first step to address the 2030 mitigation objectives, Italy needs far more ambitious renewable energy, energy efficiency, and climate goals in line with the ultimate Paris Agreement objective of keeping the world temperatures from increasing beyond 2 degrees Celsius. Please consider including aggressive goals in the next Energy and Climate package that will be presented to the European Union.


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