February - Italian parliament approves Green Economy law

Rome, Italy, December 2015 - The Italian Parliament has voted for a package of measures that impacted  various sectors of the Green Economy. It took two years of parliamentary work to achieve this.

The new law contains provisions on environmental impact, waste management, sustainable transport, and protected marine areas. According to the Environment Undersecretary, Silvia Velo, the 79 articles “simplify and promote the re-use of resources with the aim of conceiving a new development model based on environmental sustainability". She added that “Italy is deploying, for the first time, a tool that promotes Green Economy and the reduction of excessive natural resources exploitation".

The law envisions a number of incentives that reward the good behavior of consumers, producers and institutions. More specifically, the package contains provisions related to environmental impact assessment, Blue Economy, hydrogeological instability prevention, and green procurements. It also includes €35 million for sustainable mobility and €1.8 million for Marine Protected Areas.

For example, in the cities in which the population exceeds 10,000 inhabitants, the law encourages sustainable mobility projects like car and bike sharing, and the creation of protected bike and pedestrian routes.
There is also a substantial package of rules that aim to encourage the reuse of materials, which should encourage an industry in constant growth.

A series of measures related to Green Economy and soil protection, will therefore support a circular economy. These policies will create a more efficient management of waste materials, which can be transformed into resources, and towards a combination economic development and environmental sustainability.

Although as the Minister of Justice, Mr. Andrea Orlando said:"the law itself is not able to recover everything that has not been done over the years […], it helps to realign powerfully with the European regulations and may become a reference for businesses, citizens and institutions supporting a different concept of development."

Mr. Gian Luca Galletti, Environment Minister, welcomed the new law: “this is really a great result and the best way to close an extraordinary 2015 for the environment."

Green Economy plays an essential role for Italian economic development, both for the important contribution it makes to production and employment and for its integration with the rest of the industrial system. It  may even amount to a chance for relaunching Italy’s competitiveness.

In Europe, Italy is technologically in the lead in the energy efficiency sector, which currently counts over 300,000 firms and 3 million workers. It  should be directed to the most promising and innovative industrialised sectors. For instance, the electricity sector, which has experienced exceptional development from renewable sources, has obtained incentives that are among the highest in Europe (10.7 billion Euros until 2013).