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Climate campaigners sue Italian government for failing to tackle climate crisis

Environment campaigners are suing the Italian government for failing to sufficiently tackle the climate crisis, in a move coinciding with World Environment Day

Climate campaigners sue Italian government for failing to tackle climate crisis
The 203 plaintiffs included environmental organisations, Italian citizens, foreign residents and activists from Italy's Fridays for Future movement. Photo: Marco Bertorello / AFP

In the first legal action of its kind in Italy, climate activists submitted a lawsuit to Rome’s civil court on Saturday denouncing government inaction on the climate crisis.

The 203 plaintiffs, which included environmental organisations, Italian citizens, foreign residents and activists from Italy’s Fridays for Future movement, are asking the court to order the State to adopt more ambitious climate policies and emission reduction targets.

READ ALSO: Italy postpones plastic tax again due to Covid-19 pandemic

After being appointed prime minister in February, Mario Draghi created a “superministry” to ensure a transition to a green energy drives recovery and makes use of European Union funds.

“Ours will be an ecological government,” Draghi said in his first cabinet meeting.

But campaigners criticised the 750-billion-euro pandemic Recovery Fund, which included the aim of Italy becoming “carbon free” by 2050, for not being ambitious enough.

In its latest decree containing economic support measures, the Decreto Sostegni bis, Draghi’s government delayed a long-planned plastic tax again citing economic pressure.

READ ALSO:  What is Italy doing about the shocking level of plastic pollution on its coastline?

The tax, which was created in 2020 and intended to promote a reduction in the production and consumption of single-use plastics, has been delayed again with the government citing economic factors connected to the pandemic.

The tax on plastic was scheduled to come into force on July 1st this year but has.faced a series of delays

The Italian governmen said it was delaying the ecological measure, “in consideration of the contingent and difficult conditions of the economic sectors, which would be burdened by the tax, in connection with the continuation of the epidemiological emergency from Covid-19”.

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ENVIRONMENT

Sweden to set world’s first consumption-based emissions target

Sweden political parties have unanimously backed the world's first consumption-based emissions target, with the country aiming to hit net zero by 2045.

Sweden to set world's first consumption-based emissions target

The committee responsible for setting Sweden’s environmental goals on Thursday presented its proposals for what goals Sweden should set for greenhouse has emissions linked to the country’s consumption. 

“No other country in the world has done what we have done,” Emma Nohrén, chair of the climate goals committee, said at a press conference announcing the goals. “There has been a pioneering sprit.” 

About 60 percent of the emissions caused by people living in Sweden are released in other countries producing goods to be consumed in Sweden, meaning Sweden’s production-based emissions goals, like those of other countries, arguably misrepresent Sweden’s impact.  

In a press statement, the government said that as well as the 2045 consumption emissions target, the committee has suggested setting targets for the climate impact of its exports, include emissions from flights and cargo ships in its long-term national climate goals, and aim to include emissions from internal flights in its target for domestic transport by 2030.  

The committee also proposes that emissions from goods and services ordered by the public sector should decline at a faster rate than those of the rest of the country. 

Amanda Palmstierna, an MP for the Green Party who sits on the committee, said it was positive that the new goals had the backing of all seven of Sweden’s parliamentary parties. 

“It’s important that all the parties are backing this proposal so that it can become implemented,” she said. “Significant action is required now. We have so little time, as we saw in the IPCC report which came out on Monday.”  

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