Circular economy

Strategies for the Italian green economy

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Proposals of the National Council for Green Economy to stimulate the development of circular economy in Italy.

Introduction of a new national energy strategy to implement the Paris Climate Agreement; using part of the over 200 trillion dollars of the world’s bank system for green investments; improvement of recycling infrastructures in less advanced areas of Italy; ban on the matriculation of gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030 on. These are the proposals of the National Council for Green Economy, an assembly of 64 green enterprises. The Council deems these initiatives necessary to help Italy advance on the path of green economy and promote a lasting development with the uptake of investments and employment.

“The policy proposals exposed by the National Council at the Green Economy States General are a powerful driver for new development in Italy – said Edo Ronchi, President of the Sustainable Development Foundation – We need a new type of goods and services to relaunch economic stability, environmental quality, and employment, and green economy is the answer. The National Plan for Industry 4.0 must make a greater commitment to green choices if it really wants to relaunch Italian enterprises and push their development”.

These are the Council’s proposals in detail:

Implement the Paris Climate Agreement by defining a new national energy strategy aimed at three targets: cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 1990; reducing energy consumption by 40% compared to the current trend; using renewable energies to satisfy 35% of the gross energy consumption. These measures would be sustained by an Energy Transition Fund that would consist of the funds previously allocated for environmentally harmful activities. In addition, there would be a progressive carbon tax starting at 25€/CO2 ton in 2017 and redoubled in 2030. The tax would be integrated with the ETS (Emission Trading System).

Sustain Italy’s efforts in the implementation of the UN 2030 agenda for sustainable development. This would be achieved through a triennial update of the national strategy for sustainable development, which should assume the green economy as its main target.

Sustain green-oriented financial and tax policies through three channels: public policies that incentivize financial operators to make ecological investments; support to the development of green bonds; an ecological tax reform.

Promote non-financial accounting and reporting tools to encourage enterprises to focus on the natural capital. This would be achieved by increasing the number of enterprises that are required to produce non-financial reports. The requirement would also be extended to subjects such as Municipalities, Regions, and the Government.

Enhance the supporting tools for the development of green start-ups: this would be achieved by simplifying and speeding up bureaucratic procedures; offering a greater access to funding; instituting an Observatory; and developing specific startup accelerators.

Implement and diffuse the “made green in Italy” mark in the agri-food sector, in order to support the quality and ecological sustainability of agricultural products. The mark should guarantee a transparent identification of the products’ origin and should be complemented by an effective inspection system.

Request a fast definition and reception of the new EU circular economy package on waste management. The reception norm should include a national strategy to grant financial incentives for the prevention of waste production. The same tariffs should be valid on the whole national territory and include bonuses for virtuous behaviours of enterprises or private citizens. The main targets should be promoting waste sorting and minimizing landfill dumping.

Promote and develop the Green Public Procurement. This could be done by enhancing the related norms in the Public Procurement Code; introducing an effective monitoring system to allow a homogeneous data collection; and creating a national GPP training plan.

Reform water services to adapt them to climate change. It would be necessary to reduce the environmental impact of water regulation and supply activities; to increase water use efficiency; and to incentivize water recycling. Minimum environmental criteria should be introduced in the selection of subcontracting companies for the realization of water infrastructures.

Develop policies and measures for sustainable mobility, for instance by introducing the ban on the matriculation of diesel and gasoline-fuelled vehicles from 2030, following the example of Norway and the Netherlands. This would mean that vehicles can only be electric or hybrid with biofuel and gas. In addition, a national mobility plan should be drafted to invest in sustainable mobility and encourage sharing mobility.

For further information, visit the website of the Green Economy States General

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