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Italy hails COP28 agreement, vows to push forward

Rome emerged from COP28 with a pledge to phase out fossil fuels and continue directing aid towards Africa. The final document signals a global shift in energy policies and support to Global South nations, in line with Italy’s current drive (and G-7 focus)

Reactions from Rome… The Italian government praised the achievement after the agreement on the final text at the COP28 conference. The deal is “balanced and acceptable for this historical phase” despite “strong international tensions,” according to the Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, Gilberto Pichetto Fratin. He emphasised Italy’s unwavering commitment to the best possible result. 

  • For the first time, countries have “common language on the exit from fossil fuels, for net zero emissions by 2050,” said the minister.
  • “We have sought a more ambitious convergence on fossil fuels, but in the agreement, there [still] is a clear message of acceleration towards their gradual abandonment, recognising their transitional role,” the minister said.

… and from the opposition’s desks. Members of the Five Star Movement (M5S) who seat in Parliament’s environment committees have said that it is not “a historic agreement, as it has been called, but [rather] a starting point” and that they will call for “a rapid change of pace to unblock the strategic sector of renewables as soon as possible.”

  • “It is good to have decided to triple renewables and double energy efficiency. But it is not enough”, according to Laura Boldrini, a member of the Democratic Party (PD), calling on Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni to accelerate climate efforts.
  • The head of the Italian Green party, Angelo Bonelli, hailed the deal as positive news, although not a win, nor a loss. “We will ask PM Meloni to change the energy policies that aim to turn Italy into a gas hub.” 

Deal at COP28. Representatives from nearly 200 countries agreed on Wednesday to begin pivoting away from fossil fuels at the COP28 climate conference in Dubai. The agreement has been hailed as a step towards the end of the oil age despite falling short of the most ambitious expectations.

  • Some countries, including the EU, had proposed to “phase out” fossil fuels, but due to opposition from oil-producing nations, the final draft settled on “transitioning away” from them.

Italy’s global aid pledge. Mr Pichetto Fratin reiterated Italy’s significant role as the largest European contributor (along with France) to the “loss and damage” climate disaster fund, with a €100 million contribution. The fund was set up by wealthier participants at the COP28 climate conference to aid developing countries in coping with the consequences of climate change.

  • PM Meloni recently stated that 70% of Italy’s own €4.2 billion Climate Fund – itself part of another global fund to finance the poorer countries’ green transition – would go to the African States, which have been her foreign policy priority since she took office.
  • The Italian government’s ongoing expansion of ties with Africa encompasses green finance and cooperation in various fields, especially energy and agriculture. Global food security is also among her foreign policy priorities, PM Meloni said at COP28, noting that Rome intends to help Africa develop its alimentary production system.

Image: @GPichetto on X

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