Italy commits to track Environmentally Harmful Subsidies

Italy commits to track Environmentally Harmful Subsidies

On 2 February 2016 a package of measures [1] to promote the Green Economy in Italy comes officially into force, after approval by the Italian Parliament in December 2015.

Among provisions on sustainable transport, waste management and protected marine areas, the Italian government commits to becoming the first EU country to track and publish all of its environmentally harmful subsidies on a yearly basis. These include, but are not limited to, incentives, tax-breaks, subsidised loans and exemptions intended for the production and use of fossil fuels.

The introduction of this provision is in line with a 2011 Communication from the European Commission [2], recommending all Member States “identify the most significant environmentally harmful subsidies pursuant to established methodologies, and prepare plans and timetables to phase out environmentally harmful subsidies and report on these as part of their [annual] National Reform Programmes.”

As mentioned in the original text approved by the Italian Parliament, other recommendations at the international and European level, such as those included in the Europe 2020 Strategy and those resulting from OECD studies (2013), have played a role in this decision.

Green Budget Europe welcomes Italy’s commitment to a more sustainable economy, recognising that it is an important step towards the phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies – which in 2015 amounted to over €12 billion in Italy, according to the International Monetary Fund. “Following the climate agreement in Paris, Italy is sending a strong message to all other EU countries,” Green Budget Europe’s Director James Nix said, “it is simply not coherent to commit to emissions reductions on one hand, and financing polluters on the other”.

A previous study by Green Budget Europe in October 2015 [3] found that the common EU process to track and cut subsidies is not being used by any Member State, and overall very few Member States are making progress.


[1] Disegno di Legge, Camera dei Deputati

[2] Roadmap to a Resource-efficient Europe, COM (2011) 0571

[3] Member States discuss harmful subsidies on Mon 26 Oct – but none are meeting their commitments

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