NEW YORK, JULY 19 – With optimism that the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN 2030 Agenda will be achieved, Gian Luca Galletti – the Italian Minister for the Environment – arrived yesterday at the United Nations headquarters in New York with an “Italian toolbox” ready to facilitate the implementation of the ambitious targets on climate change. “Governance, monitoring and quantification” are the main points of the Italian National Strategy for Sustainable Development, approved by the Italian Council of Ministers in mid-April, and now submitted to the United Nations. The Italian Strategy aims to accomplish the SDGs goals, as well as tackling the current emergencies, such as the hundreds of fires occurring in Italy in recent times.
“Having a clear strategy is a fundamental step to face problems, not only for Italy but for the entire world. We Italians can be proud of the way we are contributing to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and cope with climate change”, said the Minister. He also commented on the decision by the Trump administration to withdraw the US from the Paris Agreement on climate change as “a problem”, which is nonetheless possible to overcome. “The Environment Ministerial Meeting of the G7, which took place in Bologna last June, proved that there are conditions to go ahead with the Paris Agreement. During the meeting attended by the Environment Ministers of the seven countries, I signed protocols with big U.S. companies, from Unilever to Ibm”, Galletti remarked, highlighting that, “the American state of California has committed to the UN targets on climate change. After the G7 in Bologna I flew to China looking for an important ally, and I found one”.
According to the Italian minister Trump is making a “loud mistake”. He also believes that, “the countries that won’t move toward a circular economy will pay the consequences”.
As for the fire emergency crisis which has hit Italy recently, the Minister stated that the country has been equipped with an earthenware in the past two years – a legal instrument which carries a penalty of up to twenty years imprisonment for any individual responsible for any environmental disasters.
“Let me say that these criminal idiots deserve it all” he told reporters. Galletti returned to Rome ahead of schedule to submit his report to the Parliament. “It is clear that with so many fires, the damage to the country is huge. We are coping with this exceptional situation with few resources”, said the minister, attributing the chain of fires that hit southern Europe, from Portugal to Montenegro, to a severe drought, one that hasn’t been experienced for 15 years. According to Galletti it is clear that, “the global climate has changed”, contributing to the spate of fires hitting Italy and the need for ‘water bombing’ in recent times. In this context, the energy strategy adopted by the Italian government addressing the climate changes plays an important role, as well as the daily focus on the weather forecasts.
The Minister also stated, that ECMWF’s (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) new data centre will be located in Bologna, Italy, by 2019. ECMWF is an intergovernmental organization supported by 34 states which provides medium-term weather and climate forecasts, as well as strategic information for both civil use, from aeronautics to geological protection and national defense.
(@OnuItalia, 19 July 2017)
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