Claudia Maria Terzi, Lombardy’s environment councilor: Only regions that innovate will attract investment

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
11 November 2014

LONDON: Lombardy, the most populous and prosperous region of Italy, joined our States & Regions Alliance during Climate Week NYC 2014. Lombardy’s environment councilor, Claudia Maria Terzi, discusses with us how her regional government is setting standards in Italy and Europe for impactful global climate action. Read the interview in full here.

EU2030 GOALS

The European Council recently adopted a binding target of reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) at least 40% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels, and increasing the share of renewable energy and energy efficiency by 27%. “This deal is certainly significant, and the outlook for 2030 has to be ambitious,” says Claudia Maria Terzi, Lombardy’s Councilor for the Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development.

“Even in light of the objective of achieving 80-95% emissions reduction compared to 1990 by 2050. This bold goal will allow Europe to achieve a low carbon economy.”

But the councilor stresses the EU needs to, “switch from its regulatory function to a stronger support of low carbon investments, [which is] even more necessary in the current stagnant economic cycle”.

GROWING THE ECONOMY

Economic and industrial recovery is at the center of Lombardy’s renewable energy efforts, as well as the protection of its environmental resources.

To obtain this dual goal, the region is aiming to develop its advanced clean energy industry, because “only highly specialized and innovative companies can withstand the market”, according to the Councilor.

Lombardy is currently leading the clean revolution in Italy, as it is generating more hydroelectric power than any other region. But continuing its hydroelectric production is not the only goal of this government. “We must reward technologies that are able to reduce emissions at the lower cost possible,” says Claudia Maria Terzi. “We have to increase especially renewable sources that provide heat energy. Lombardy’s innovation capacity has to be the driving force for the whole nation”.

Setting the path for other regions to follow too, Lombardy is also the first Italian region to enact a complete environmental plan to tackle climate change.

Part of this is the Regional Plan of Interventions to improve air quality, which defines 40 measures concerning road transport and mobility to reduce emissions. However, as the Councilor attests: “CO2 reduction depends on the civil sector’s efficiency, and we are focusing our economic and regulatory efforts on it”.

EUROPEAN LEADERS

Since Lombardy joined The Climate Group’s States & Regions Alliance, now all of the “Four Motors for Europe” are part of our network. Claudia Maria Terzi explains that it is leading regions like these who will see the early benefits of investing in a low carbon economy. She warns: “In the future, only those who will be able to innovate and renew themselves will be competitive and attract investments.”

To ensure it stays ahead of other regions, Lombardy produced an ‘Adaptation plan of the regional territory’, which focuses on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and adaptation to global climate change.

The region has also set up several projects and studies to identify adaptation measures, according to Claudia Maria Terzi. “We want to minimize (or even better, eliminate) climate damage, to reduce vulnerability and, indeed, to expand the opportunities acting on time”.

Next year, Milan, the capital of Lombardy, will host the important business event Expo2015, with the theme of ‘feeding the planet, energy for life’.

“We think Expo2015 will definitely encourage clean technology growth,” states Claudia Maria Terzi. “We will reduce the environmental impact of the visitors thanks to the regional plan for the reduction of food waste”.

Read the interview in full here and find out more about Lombardy.

See which other governments are part of our States & Regions Alliance

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