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WIREs Clim Change
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Short‐term and long‐term climate mitigation policy in Italy

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This article briefly discusses climate mitigation policy in Italy. It first reviews the recent policy action and then assesses the challenges ahead. It shows that emissions in 2012 will be below the Kyoto target only if the carbon intensity of the economies continues to decline at the pre‐crisis rate. Even in this favorable case, the use of Kyoto mechanisms will likely be necessary to compensate for the high emissions of 2008. This article then examines the implications of reducing emissions in 2050 by 80% with respect to the present level, as proposed by Major Economies Leaders during the 2009 G8 meeting. In particular, the article focuses on the transformations needed in the power sector. Scenarios developed using the integrated assessment model World Induced Hybrid Technical Change (WITCH) and an analysis of historical data show that (1) electricity in 2050 must come with zero (or possibly negative) emissions, and therefore, absent nuclear power and (2) carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) must play a major role in future power supply, even with a massive development of wind and photovoltaic. The article then proposes five pillars on which a sensible, long‐term, ambitious Italian climate mitigation policy should rest. WIREs Clim Change 2012, 3:171–183. doi: 10.1002/wcc.159

Figure 1.

GHG emissions in Italy, past and future trend. Notes: Total GHG emissions, excluding emissions from Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) are from Ref 2. Future GDP at market prices; growth rate from Ref 3. Historical data on GDP from ISTAT.

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Figure 2.

Energy intensity of GDP, past data, and future scenarios. Notes: historical data from IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances—Energy Balances of OECD Countries—Economic Indicators Vol 2009 release 01; OECD‐Europe comprises the EU15 plus the Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey. Future scenarios from WITCH model.

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Figure 3.

Carbon intensity of energy, past data, and future scenarios. Notes: historical data on energy consumption from IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances—Energy Balances of OECD Countries—Economic Indicators Vol 2009 release 01; National CO2 Emissions from Fossil‐Fuel Burning, Cement Manufacture, and Gas Flaring from CDIAC.11. Future scenarios from WITCH model.

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Figure 4.

Electricity intensity of GDP and historical data. Notes: IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances—Energy Balances of OECD Countries—Economic Indicators Vol 2009 release 01. Future scenarios from WITCH model.

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Figure 5.

Electricity consumption. Notes: IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances—Energy Balances of OECD Countries—Economic Indicators Vol 2009 release 0. Future scenarios are extrapolated from WITCH model Reference and Climate Policy scenarios.

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Figure 6.

Percentage of total primary energy supply (TPES) from electricity. Notes: IEA World Energy Statistics and Balances—Energy Balances of OECD Countries—Economic Indicators Vol 2009 release 01. Future scenarios are extrapolated from WITCH model Reference and Climate Policy scenarios.

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Figure 7.

Electricity generation technologies in Italy, 1883–2010. Notes: Extrapolated from Refs 12,13 . Thermoelectric electricity generation is disaggregated into solid fuels, natural gas, other gases, oil product, and other fuels from 1963.

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Figure 8.

Power generation in 2008, OECD Europe. Notes: Data from Ref 9, based on ENERDATA tables.

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Policy and Governance > National Climate Change Policy
The Carbon Economy and Climate Mitigation > Policies, Instruments, Lifestyles, Behavior

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