Mario Draghi forms new government in Italy

Draghi to create green ‘superministry’ for Italian recovery

Former ECB boss looks to tap €200bn in EU funds

Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is creating a green ‘superministry’ that will be tasked with overseeing the country’s transition to sustainable energy.

According to press reports, this division will be overseen by physicist Roberto Cingolani as Italy’s ecology transition minister who will take over energy matters previously shared with other ministries.

Prior to this appointment he was chief technology and innovation officer at Italian defence group Leonardo and a board member of Ferrari. Cingolani was handpicked by Draghi, who told his first cabinet meeting: “Ours will be an ecological government.”

The appointment of Cingolani and creation of a new ministry suggest the new Prime Minister is taking his low carbon ambitions for Italy seriously.

The former European Central Bank chief, who took office on February 13, is currently redrafting Italy’s recovery plan with an emphasis on green energy transition.

This must be submitted to the European Commission by April for the Italian government to have a chance of receiving over €200bn (£173bn) in funds to stimulate the recession-hit economy.

It has been stipulated with the European Commission that 37% of this money must be dedicated to the transition to a low carbon economy.

In December, EU leaders agreed to cut their net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030, toughening an existing 40% target. That puts pressure on Italy to overhaul the country’s energy plan from 2020, which called for renewables to make up 30% of final energy consumption by 2030, from 17% in 2019.

With Draghi prioritising a low carbon transition in his first few days of office, this suggests a close alignment of mindsets between the country and the EU.

In the past, Italy has struggled to meet green targets due to bureaucracy hurdles which has slowed the development of renewable energy projects. It is hoped the government’s new green superministry will help streamline progress and avoid overlaps between the environment and industry ministries.

However, the scope of Italy’s green superministry has drawn criticisms from some members of its 5-Star political party who wanted the new division to absorb other areas of the industry ministry.

Last Updated: 17 February 2021
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