Issue Deep Dive
Italy / Climate
In addition to ramping up domestic climate policy, Italy’s climate development contributions are on the rise. In 2021, Italy spent US$358 million on climate and was the 15th-largest OECD DAC donor to climate in absolute terms. Funding to this sector dropped from the country’s highest-ever in 2020, US$520 million, but remains above pre-2020 levels.
Italy spent 29% of its allocable bilateral ODA on climate finance in 2021, more than the DAC average of 24%, making Italy the 10th-largest OECD DAC donor in terms of bilateral allocable ODA on climate-related issues relative to total bilateral allocable ODA volumes.
In 2021, Italy’s climate-related ODA focused slightly more on adaptation, spending US$335 million, than mitigation, which totaled US$283 million. There is also a significant overlap between the two markers for projects that target both. Of Italy’s funding for action against climate change, US$260 million was channeled toward projects tagged with both markers.
In 2021, 12% of Italy’s bilateral allocable ODA was spent on projects with a significant climate change component, lower than the DAC average of 15%. Meanwhile, 17% of funding targeted climate change as a principal goal. A large proportion, 71% of Italy’s bilateral allocable ODA, did not target climate change or was not screened against the Rio markers in 2021, but this is still lower than the DAC average of 76%.
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.
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:
Planet is one of the five core pillars in Italy’s three-year Programming Guidelines for 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 November 2021, Italy supported the UK with its presidency of COP26. Italy also co-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 staunch supporter of the GBEP, which supports a wider, more cost-effective use of biomass and biofuels. Italy chaired the partnership in 2019.
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