Issue Deep Dive
ODA In Context
In addition to ramping up domestic climate policy, Italy’s climate development contributions are on the rise. In 2020, Italy was the 10th-largest OECD DAC donor to climate in absolute terms. Funding to this sector was the highest-ever in 2020, and more than doubled from 2019.
Italy spent 44% of its allocable bilateral ODA on climate finance in 2020, significantly more than the DAC average of 23%, making Italy the third-largest OECD DAC donor in terms of bilateral allocable ODA on climate-related issues relative to total bilateral allocable ODA volumes.
Italy’s climate-related ODA focuses similarly on mitigation (81%) and adaption (95%). As is apparent from the relative size of these percentages, there is also significant overlap between the two markers. Projects can target both climate adaptation and mitigation, and, in that case, would receive both markers. In 2020, 76% of Italy’s funding for action against climate change was channeled toward projects tagged with both markers.
In 2020, 35% of Italy’s bilateral allocable ODA was spent on projects with a significant climate change component, much higher than the DAC average of 14%. Only 8% of funding targeted climate change as a principal goal. A large proportion (56%) of Italy’s bilateral allocable ODA did not target climate change or was not screened against the Rio markers in 2020, lower than the DAC average of 77%.
Government documents place a strong emphasis on climate resilience in the agriculture sector. Since 2014, Italy has partnered with the FAO to build and promote the GACSA.
Multilateral Spending and Commitments
Italy’s climate finance is relatively low. Italy contributes to climate financing through multilaterals, though not all these funds are counted as ODA. This includes contributions to the following multilaterals:
Funding & Policy Outlook
‘Planet’ as one of the five core pillars in Italy’s three-year ‘Programming Guidelines’ 2021-2023. These guidelines affirm Italy's commitment to multilateral approaches such as the OECD - DAC ENVIRONET, FAO, UNEP, UNDP, and the IUCN. An increased emphasis on environmental protection and climate change was incorporated into the document in its latest iteration.
Former Prime Minister Draghi put climate change at the heart of his political agenda by creating a Ministry of Ecological Transition to ensure that the economic recovery following the COVID-19 crisis goes hand in hand with the transition to green energy.
The Italian Parliament and Senate voted to incorporate the protection of the environment, biodiversity, and ecosystems in the interest of future generations into ‘Article 9’ of the Italian Constitution on February 22, 2022.
In 2021 Italy supported the UK with its presidency of the UNFCCC COP26 which took place in November 2021 and hosted a pre-summit food systems conference.
Also in 2021, Italy made environmental protection, management of natural resources, and climate change — including access to reliable and sustainable energy — key priorities of its G20 presidency. Italy pledged to triple its contribution to fighting climate change by US$1.4 billion per year for five years.
In January 2019, the Italian government opened ACSD. The Center was conceived during Italy’s G7 Presidency in 2017 at the Environment Ministers meeting in Bologna, created in partnership with the UNDP and FAO. It is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable development, with a special interest in initiatives linked to climate, climate-smart agriculture, access to water, clean energy generation, and gender equality.
Italy is also a strong supporter of the GBEP, which supports a wider, more cost-effective use of biomass and biofuels, chairing the partnership in 2019.
Unless otherwise indicated, all data in this section is based on commitments. For more information, see our Donor Tracker Codebook.
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Maura Kitchens West
Maura Kitchens West
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