Green New Deal: the Italian Government approves the “climate decree”

On the 10th of October, the Italian Government approved the decree-law “Misure urgenti per il rispetto degli obblighi previsti dalla Direttiva 2008/50/CE sulla qualità dell’aria e proroga del termine di cui all’articolo 48, commi 11 e 13, del decreto-legge 17 ottobre 2016, n. 189” (i.e. Urgent measures to comply with the obligations laid down in Directive 2008/50/EC on the air quality and on the extension of the term set in Article 48(11) and (13) of decree-law no. 189 of 17 October 2016), hereinafter “climate decree”.

This decree has been promoted by the Government as the Italian first step to a “Green New Deal”.

Considering that climate variability is closely linked to human activities and that temperatures and CO2 emissions will progressively continue to grow, the Italian  Government had to figure out a strategic national policy to face these changes.

Hence, the “climate decree” allows to implement green actions and to plan multilevel interventions to improve air quality, honouring the obligations of Directive 2008/50/EC “on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe”.

In particular, the decree provides inter alia for a “buono mobilità” (a mobility voucher) for citizens residing in areas where pollutant emission rates exceed the thresholds set by Directive 2008/50/EC which, for this reason, have already been subject to infringement measures by the EU Commission.

Meantime, it is announced the constitution was found to be committed to the allocation of resources for projects related to the creation, the lengthen and the upgrade of the lanes for local public transport.

The aim is therefore to reduce the rate of polluting vehicles, while at the same time promoting sustainable mobility.

Actions for reforestation are also provided. In particular, an experimental programme is being set up for tree-dwelling, replanting and forestry, and also for the creation of urban and peri-urban forests in metropolitan cities. The operative schedules are prepared by the individual metropolitan cities and approved by the competent authority (i.e. the Ministry of the Environment and Protection of Land and Sea).

Furthermore more powers and resources are given to Commissioners dealing with the clearance of illegal landfills and water purification in order to combat environmental infringement.

In addition, economic contributions will be assigned to retailers who will create corners for the sale of unpacked products with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of plastic.

The economic coverage of the abovementioned measures is provided by (i) the setting up of a fund ad hoc, (ii) allowances from the sale through the system of auctions of CO2 emission shares, and (iii) by the reducing subsidies for polluting works for which a constant cut is expected up to 2040.

The full text of the decree-law no. 111/2019 is available at the following link