Italy and the battle against climate change

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Set aside the traditional diplomatic meetings between half the world’s chancelleries, perhaps the most interesting legacy of the last general assembly of the United Nations, held in New York from September 23rd to 26th 2019, lies in the very strong media impact of the climate change issue. A challenge that today has become mainstream regardless of the international leaders’ interest or ability to deal concretely with it, who on the contrary appear to be tied to political agendas with distinctly national and often antithetical contents, thus being fatally incapable of responding in a shared manner to global problems posed by climate change.

This has not prevented, in recent years, the emergence of various protest movements and environmental projects aimed primarily at affecting this sort of impasse. Paradigmatic, for example, is the case of “Fridays for future”, an international initiative inspired by a Swedish teenager who lent her face to the global campaign before launching herself into a spectacular appeal / process to global leaders during the UN assembly of the last September 23rd. “Fridays for future” was created to ask for a greater commitment by political decisionmakers in favor of the environment and urges the mobilization of civil society against climate change. It involves groups of young students in different countries around the globe and is also widespread in Italy, where the third climate student strike has just taken place.

On this matter, the Environment and Education ministers of the Conte II administration considered it right not to miss the chance of lending students their paternalistic support. In addition, it is worth noting that on October 3rd the Council of Ministers should adopt the so-called ‘climate decree’, a new tricolour Green New Deal that aims to make its own contribution to the fight against climate change and that is currently being criticized for contents that are perceived as not very incisive.

Waiting to discover the vision and type of contribution of Italian politics to the “green” development of the Country, in June 2019 the last report by the national institute of statistics ISTAT pointed out that actually Italy has already been for a long time at the forefront in the adoption of sustainable lifestyles and production models, thanks first of all to the sensitivity of its citizens and industrial reality. 17% of energy consumption is covered by renewable sources, with an added value of the c.d. eco-industries of €36 billion, or equal to 2.3% of GDP, a 50% drop in the consumption of raw materials and a sector such as energy efficiency buildings, capable of developing investments worth of €293 billion in 10 years, generating two million jobs.