A new Green Deal for Italy’s relaunch

Published on Thursday, 7 May 2020

The current pandemic has taught us to take better care of our future. While responding to the current health emergency, we must not forget the other threats to the planet, beginning with climate change. As we recover from this crisis, therefore, it is paramount that we seize this opportunity to aim for a long-term development plan based on a decarbonised and circular economy: a new Green Deal.

The Sustainable Development Foundation (Fondazione per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile) has published a Manifesto that has so far garnered 110 high-profile signatories from the business world and organisations representing important economic sectors. Among them is Enel Group’s CEO and General Manager Francesco Starace.

The Manifesto, under the title “Recovering from the pandemic with a New Green Deal in Italy”, calls for the European Recovery Plan to kick-start the European project for a decarbonised and circular economy, and to avoid increasing greenhouse gas emissions and impacts on the environment, effectively “shifting additional costs to our future”.

“We believe that a new Green Deal is the right way to reach a stronger and long-lasting recovery, unlocking the best potentialities of our country”, reads the Manifesto. The document indeed references the nation’s high-quality, green and circular productions as well as sustainable agriculture, but also its excellence in waste recycling, renewable energy and energy efficiency, all of which are strategic cornerstones of the transition to a climate-neutral economy. The Green Deal can also provide an opportunity to implement an environment-friendly urban regeneration programme, boosting low-impact tourism, electric and shared mobility and digital innovation.

A research that was presented at the latest States General of the Green Economy event revealed that Italy has one of Europe’s greenest economies. According to a recent comparative study published by the Oxford Martin School together with the Smith School of Enterprise, prior to the pandemic our country ranked second in the global list of “green growth tigers”, behind Germany and ahead of the United States, Austria, Denmark and China. Therefore, we are one of the nations that could benefit the most from a Green Deal to recover from the current economic crisis, in terms of both growth and competitiveness.

The Manifesto concludes with the declaration: “We believe that a new Green Deal is the innovative way forward for the economic renaissance of Italy”. The call to action has been signed by key representatives from companies and economic organisations in a wide range of sectors. Such vast engagement from the business world is certainly noteworthy and signals that times are changing. We praise the Sustainable Development Foundation, with which we have collaborated for many years, for creating the framework of an initiative to support Italy’s relaunch, open to signatories from all businesses and organisations.

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