What the electoral programs of the parties say about the environment and climate

What the electoral programs of the parties say about the environment and climate

The economy is undoubtedly at the top of voters' thoughts ahead of the September 25 vote. But the almost five-year period that has passed since March 2018 has seen the explosion of issues related to the environment and the climate crisis, which broke into the streets with Greta Thunberg and, consequently, in the media debate. Although the current denier is not yet extinct - after all, the champion of the category is a former American president like Donald Trump - most people are asking for answers to politics. And he achieves them, albeit with very different approaches.

The changes and devastating consequences of global warming, from snowless winters to record heat to tropical storms, have become a daily reality in our country as well. Not only. The last conference of the United Nations on climate, COP26, in Glasgow was very popular and has become an opportunity for many to get in touch with the complex process that goes from political consensus to regulations and then to the effects on the climate.

But keeping environmental, economic and social issues together in the ecological transition is not painless: the compromises and differences between large parties (more inclined to mediate) and small parties (which look to niches) are inevitable. An example? Waste-to-energy plants, regasifiers, nuclear power (which we talk about again after the two referendums of 1987 and 2011). But also topics such as plastic (the so-called packaging valley, which has thousands of employees in Emilia Romagna, will be strongly affected by European measures). Jobs, however, could also be created by ongoing processes, especially if the stringent regulations are followed by adequate retraining policies for workers, an aspect that is perhaps not adequately emphasized.

Overall, there is room for cautious optimism, with some necessary reservations. "The first result of these elections is that environmental issues are finally present in the programs of all sides, and the climate variable is integrated into economic, welfare and social policies - says Luca Iacoboni, head of the national programs of the think Italian tank Here -. Unlike a few years ago, the issue cannot be ignored ”. A nice result. "But now it is important to understand what is behind the slogans", continues the expert.

Let's see in detail what the parties are proposing:

Possible 5 Star Movement Center-right + Europe Verdi-Left Italian Democratic Party Italia Viva-Action Popular Union Electoral programs 2022 The analysis of the political proposals and projects of the parties running for the elections on 25 September

Arrow Movimento 5 Stelle The Movimento 5 Stelle, led by Giuseppe Conte , has made environmental battles one of the cornerstones since the beginning. Despite this, the party does not go into too much detail in its program. strive for a sustainable model of energy consumption "to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions. Conte also proposes a stabilization of the 110% super bonus (despite the effects on the increase in the cost of materials for construction zia) and other structural building bonuses (measures introduced by his government), to "allow the planning of investments in real estate and continue to improve the levels of energy savings and consequently save on bills". There is also talk of a new energy superbonus for businesses based on tax credits (to be released) and of a de-bureaucratization to favor the creation of renewable energy plants, but without details on coverage and objectives.

territory, the pentastellates propose to complete the geological map to map it and prevent hydrogeological instability and its consequences. Stop to new drilling and incinerators, stop to obsolete technologies in waste treatment, promotion of returnable vacuum. It is worth noting that in the program there is no reference to nuclear power, either positively or negatively: it is, in any case, a historical theme for the party, whose position has so far been firmly against it. Finally, a contrast to agromafies and eco-mafias, which are explicitly mentioned: certainly a meritorious point, but without details on how to proceed in practice.

Possible Pippo Civati, together with Matteo Renzi ex enfant prodige of the Democratic Party at the beginning of the last decade, has always shown an ecological soul. The paths with the old partner have long divided, like those with the Democratic Party: today Possible, the party founded by the Monza politician and led by Beatrice Brignone, has an agreement with Green Europe and the Italian Left. The focus on green issues, however, has not changed.

With regard to the environment, incentives are proposed for electric mobility and the exit from diesel fuel by 2030. Strong emphasis on renewables, underlining that it is necessary to increase the installation rate of new plants up to 10 GW per year to reach the target of 85 GW required by the RePower Eu plan, the program developed by the European Commission to cope to the energy crisis. No to nuclear power, which involves "temporal and economic constraints". No mention of regasifiers in the program.

Regarding the sequestration of carbon dioxide, necessary to limit emissions into the atmosphere, Possibile proposes to reclaim one third of the abandoned industrial areas in Italy (9 thousand square kilometers) to plant 270 million trees. According to the party's calculations, they would be able to seize 5.4 million tons of carbon dioxide per year, equal to the quantity emitted by a million citizens. The party suggests focusing on hemp, now banned, which has a higher yield than most plants. The trees will also serve to cool urban centers with targeted reforestation. Among other points, space for carbon farming and a verification of the calculations on the compensation of greenhouse emissions by companies, considered unreliable.

It closes with a tightening on land consumption (new authorizations granted only on the basis of real housing needs) and the fight against water dispersion.

Center-right (Fratelli d'Italia, Lega, Forza Italia) In the short joint program of the center-right, which brings together Lega, Fratelli d'Italia, Forza Italia, the environment ends up at the bottom, at the twelfth point out of a total fifteen. This in itself is an interesting fact.

It begins with the promise to respect the international commitments undertaken by Italy, which is not taken for granted: the League, in its party program, often aims at a revision of the agreements. We therefore continue with the proposal to define a national circular economy plan that also includes waste management. Another extraordinary plan will concern the protection and safeguarding of the quality of maritime and inland waters and the efficiency of networks to limit the phenomenon of water dispersion. The program announces interventions on areas at risk of hydrogeological instability, the establishment of new nature reserves (without indicating, however, which ones), reforestation and tree planting works, incentives for the use of public transport. There is no mention of the funds to be put in place for these maneuvers.

Some more details can be found in the Lega program. Salvini's party talks about planning works and interventions capable of securing the water supply in the country, even in an unfavorable climate context through the construction of small and medium-sized storage basins. Then there is attention to the mountains (with the creation of an ad hoc ministry), a national strategy for hydrogen and the yes to waste-to-energy plants and a national nuclear supply chain.

We depart from environmentalist orthodoxy in the part where we also speak of "promoting the extraction (with low environmental impact technologies) of the geothermal lithium present in the Italian subsoil inside the geothermal reservoirs" and of establish a national commodity strategy, including a state-owned mining company for exploration. Via Bellerio also proposes to set up a Ministry of the Sea with responsibility for fishing and aquaculture, enhancement of the fish with the indication of the "fishing date" on the products and promotion of water tourism. But there is also talk of "contrasting the European desire to reserve at least 30% of the territorial waters for environmental protection (currently we are already over 20%) which, in addition to military needs, the spaces in any case forbidden to fishing for extractive activities, to maritime traffic corridors, etc., already entail severe restrictions on fishing in territorial waters ".

The map of future lithium mines in Europe Digging back into the old continent to increase the internal production of metals and minerals necessary for the energy transition. Australian companies have sniffed the business, while Brussels hopes to free itself from dependence on China + Europe "A just and efficient transition must be achieved by making the market work better and using a variety of tools, fostering innovation and the diffusion of innovative technologies, offering opportunities for industrial reconversion and training and professional updating ". Thus opens the portion of the program dedicated to the environment from + Europe, the party of Emma Bonino. Clearly the vision is continental. It begins with a revision of the fifth title of the Constitution which allows for the return to the state of "exclusive competences in energy matters". He is pushing for a European energy policy that is added to that of the climate "in order to increase the resilience of the system".

The party aims to reduce bureaucracy for renewables and is in favor of regasifiers. The + Europe package includes the reduction of subsidies harmful to the environment and the intention not to allow further building amnesties. Finally, the text talks about the construction of a waste-to-energy plant for Rome and promoting the use of water purifiers to reduce the purchase of plastic bottles.

Green Europe-Italian Left Green Europe and Italian Left run together with Possibile in the elections. But unlike Civati's party, they present themselves with only one program. Environmental issues, of course, are at the heart of the shared text. The first step is to provide the country with a climate law to be approved in the first hundred days of government, with binding and consistent objectives at all levels (national, regional and local).

Priority, according to Nicola Fratoianni and Angelo Bonelli, must be given to climate adaptation works. "In the last forty years - it says - Italy has recorded twenty thousand deaths due to extreme events, second only to France in the number of deaths". It can be done - argues the tandem - by making the National Plan for Adaptation to Climate Change fully operational, stopped in 2017, within the first six months of the legislature, and by reviewing the objectives of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) in this regard. In addition, a Forest Saving Plan and a Sea Saving Plan are required for the protection, restoration, conservation and enhancement of ecosystems.

Proposals also from an administrative point of view: we need "a climate-friendly public administration", providing more staff to the ministries and merging those of Economic Development and Infrastructure into the Ecological Transition ministry. Also requested a control room on the transition to Palazzo Chigi. From an economic point of view, the tandem calls for the transformation of Cdp, Sace and Invitalia into climate banks to support, guarantee and manage the transition. No dedicated investments or commitments are specified for these measures.

An investment plan against water dispersion, while, for climate justice, Italy's commitment should reach 4 billion a year, to be allocated to the countries most affected by climate change (which, paradoxically, are those that have contributed the least to producing it with their own emissions). It is not clear where to draw these resources. Great attention is also paid to forests and the wood supply chain, to be used for long-term applications, including in construction.

Renewables are at the center of the commitments: wind, solar thermal, photovoltaic, with an emphasis on self-production . According to Green Europe and the Italian Left, Italy must adopt a national target for reducing greenhouse gases: the share considered "fair" by Bonelli and Fratoianni is 70% by 2030 compared to 1990, an even more ambitious goal than Fit for 55 European, which stops at 55%. To reach the goal, the approach is radical: it is proposed to create a gas exit plan by 2035, a document that will have to specify times and quantities.

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