Italy’s greenhouse gas emissions are rising despite lower energy consumption, reflecting a move toward high-emissions energy sources.
According to a report released Wednesday by Italy’s National Agency for New Technology, Energy, and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA), total energy usage in Italy is expected to drop around 1.5 percent this year compared to 2021 levels. Nevertheless, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to rise by around 8 percent by the end of the year.
Italy has recently announced that a new branch of the United Nations University focused on combating climate change will open at the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest university.
The Ukraine conflict has dramatically changed Italy’s energy mix, with natural gas usage in the country down 3 percent this year compared to the previous year. This is due to Russia cutting off gas supplies during the crisis in Ukraine.
However, in the race to replace Russian gas, energy suppliers have used 8 percent more oil and 47 percent more coal than a year earlier, resulting in increased emissions levels. Use of cleaner renewable energy sources was also down by 11 percent, according to ENEA.
Greenhouse gas emissions over the first nine months of the year were up 6 percent compared to the same period last year, ENEA said, with a further increase of 2 percent expected through the end of the year. ■