Climate Change Becomes a Low Government Priority

Spotlight Activity: Climate Change Becomes a Low Government Priority

After the presentation of the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (INECP) to the European Commission in January, Italy seemed to be moving in the right direction to meet its pledge under the Paris Agreement.

What has happened since? No news, bad news!

After the general election in 2018, no political party won an outright majority. Prof. Giuseppe Conte was appointed as the prime minister with support from the Matteo Salvini’s League and the Luigi Di Maio’s Five Star Movement (M5S). League and M5S are two different parties: M5S was born as an anti-establishment group, the League is a right-wing regionalist political party.

The M5S, that was born with a large ecological footprint, got lost within the political mechanism. The League, the far-right political party which has never talked about environment, has seized the day.

Italian policymakers just charge ahead, with differences of opinion within the government majority and gossip. Climate change is being relegated to the bottom of the list of government priorities; nobody talks about climate change.

Record heat, powerful storms, flooding, prolonged drought, and forest fires remind us of the climate change emergency. According to the National Climatic Data Centre, January 2019 was third warmest on record for the globe. Global land and ocean surface temperature was marked at 0.88°C (1.58°F) above the 20th-century average. The global land-only January 2019 temperature was the fourth highest in the 140-year record at 1.51°C above average.

Coldiretti, the most important Italian association of farmers, raises the alarm: climate change is harming agriculture. In 2018, Italy faced around 148 extreme climatic events, but policymakers have not acted. Since January 1st the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella was the only politician who talked about climate change. Mattarella quoted Greta Thunberg, the young Swedish activist, during the inaugural speech at the University of Tuscia in Viterbo.

Mattarella underlined the importance of political action, and the importance of a change in the approach. Italian policymakers usually do not pay attention to prevention: “lots of the emergencies and natural disasters we face in Italy, derive from an absence of land protection and replenishment.

Fortunately, the art world and youngers are active: on Feb, 28 there was the inauguration of the XXII Triennale di Milano, titled “Broken Nature: Design Takes on Human Survival.” The exhibit aims at repairing the broken relationship between humanity and nature; it highlights the concept of restorative design and studies the state of the threads that connect humans to their natural environments.

Moreover, Italian students are organizing a climate strike, on Friday, March 15.

Status: Standing Still

Since the beginning of 2019, Italian policymakers have not spoken about environmental issues. Climate change is an emergency. Laws and proposals are okay, but not sufficient as far as they remain words. It takes practical, swift and effective action, as land replenishment and education of citizens about respect for the environment.

The government should finance land maintenance in order to improve prevention and disaster risk reduction. Moreover, it would be useful to strengthen performance audits on water, and natural resource management, and put an end to illegal building, so popular in Italy that is depleting our land.

Take Action

Please send the following message to the President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella and to the Minister for Environment, Sergio Costa:

Dear President Mattarella/ Dear Minister Costa,

Time is running out and we must stop global warming in order to avoid the apocalypse. The time for words is over, and the time for action has come. Italy must take a firm position without going on with the political debate.

Energy and commitments on CO2 reduction are positive, but now it is time for daily action, land preservation and for engaging in a sustainable lifestyle. Let us make it the new Italian style.

Send Action Alert Message to:

President of the Italian Republic, Sergio Mattarella:

Minister Sergio Costa:

Learn more:

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