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Italy can do without Russian gas, says energy minister – POLITICO

Italy can do without Russian gas, says energy minister – POLITICO

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This G7 will need to look for innovative models to accelerate investments, including private-public partnerships, Pichetto Fratin said. “We certainly need to revise the financial system, to find mechanisms that overcome the current voluntary system,” he said.  

While Italy, which currently holds the rotating G7 presidency, is in a leadership position at this weekend’s climate talks, the Meloni government is developing a record in Europe of digging its heels in on climate issues. Since Meloni came to power, Italy has repeatedly voted against or abstained on votes on environmental issues in the EU, such as packaging rules and phasing out combustion engines by 2035.

Environmental groups say the government is not interested in climate change, despite a spate of extreme weather events in Italy over the past few years including droughts and the collapse of a glacier. Meloni last year blamed catastrophic floods in the Emilia Romagna region on bad weather.

Pichetto Fratin denied that the Meloni government is not prioritizing climate change, arguing that the government’s target is to generate nearly two-thirds of its electricity from renewable energy sources by the end of the decade. “It’s not true that we are against everything,” he said.

The phase-out of combustion-engine cars by 2035 is shortsighted because of the likely advances in clean fuels such as hydrogen or biofuel, which would mean that electric was not the only clean option, he argued. “What I do not agree with is that the Commission political powers decide what are the limits of technological research,” he said.

As evidence that the Italian government is serious about tackling climate change, Pichetto Fratin said that Italy would beat other countries to close its coal-fired power plants. “We are ready to close our coal plants, completely, very shortly, the biggest source of emissions,” he said.

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