Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Italian Position in the Energy and Climate Change Negotiations

Viviani, Carlo (2010): The Italian Position in the Energy and Climate Change Negotiations. Published in: Review of Economic Conditions in Italy , Vol. 2010, No. 2 (January 2011): pp. 231-278.

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Abstract

Climate change, security and cost of energy supplies, and the competitiveness of firms and economies have been focal points of the general political and economic policy debate in recent years.

This article examines the choices in this field made at global level with the Kyoto Protocol and in Europe with the more recent “20-20-20” package from the standpoints of the Italian national interests and the negotiating stance adopted by our Government in European and international forums.

The European negotiations on renewable energy sources, the reduction of emissions in the sectors with and without emissions trading schemes, automobile emissions, the auctioning of emission rights, and the identification of industries exposed to the risk of delocalization (carbon leakage) are described in detail, including background data not previously available, and the reasons for Italy’s positions set forth.

The principle guiding Italian negotiators has been to balance the various policy aims, in an effort to ensure that the necessary action against climate change does not have excessive repercussions on growth and employment. The principle is all the more valid in the global talks on the regime that will succeed the Kyoto Protocol when it expires on 1 January 2013.

Without a credible global agreement entailing an equivalent commitment, or sectoral agreements, instruments will be needed to prevent Europe’s climate commitment from producing an unfair competitive disadvantage, with potentially serious social and economic consequences but no appreciable environmental advantage.

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