'Four Motors for Europe' now committed to act on climate as Lombardy in Italy joins our network

Author:
Ilario D'Amato
14 October 2014

LONDON: Lombardy, the most populous Italian region and one of the strongest economies in Europe, is now a member of The Climate Group, as announced during Climate Week NYC alongside the UN Climate Summit.

Lombardy joins the States & Regions Alliance, the high-profile network of leading sub-national governments committed to implementing bold climate actions.

The region is one of the 'Four Motors for Europe' - along with Baden-Württemberg in Germany, Catalonia in Spain and Rhône-Alpes in France - which aims to promote the role of these very populous and economically powerful regions on an international and European scale. With Lombardy joining its network, now all four ‘motors’ are members of The Climate Group.

ITALIAN LEADERSHIP

“It was quite thrilling. This is the first time that an Italian region has ever been invited,” stated the President of the Lombardy Region, Roberto Maroni, who was attending the UN Climate Summit at the UN headquarters in New York, on the invitation of the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

“It’s a memorable day for the Lombardy Region because we have joined The Climate Group, one of the world’s most influential non-profit organizations, with the aim of defining a global climate strategy together with states, regions, governments, enterprises and social partners,” said Maroni. “Together with our Councillor for the Environment, we met with the CEO, Mark Kenber, and expressed our support for the Compact of States and Regions, which was announced by The Climate Group and other sub-national networks at the UN Climate Summit. The signatories pledge to provide an annual account of their climate commitments and to report progress towards them.” 

Claudia Maria Terzi, Lombardy's Councillor for the Environment, Energy and Sustainable Development, stated: “The Lombardy Region has always set itself apart on these issues, not only in Italy but also at the European level."

“The Region will be taking a two-pronged approach toward protecting the environment and dealing with climate change, via the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the adoption of measures to adapt to global climate change. These are two courses of action that need to be pursued in parallel,” the Councillor explained. “We are devoting much thought to the impacts they could have on health, tourism and the economy. It’s not a question of becoming environmentalists, but rather of caring about the lives of future generations.”

CLIMATE ACTIONS

The Region produces the most hydroelectric power in Italy, in part thanks to the high mountains of the Alps and large rivers like the Po. Even if Lombardy's energy mix is largely based on gas, which accounts for 63%, hydroelectric amounts to almost a quarter of it.

With almost 10 million citizens, protecting human health and the environment is a priority for Lombardy, and last year it implemented a Regional Plan of Interventions to improve air quality

Similarly, Lombardy's GDP is the highest in Italy, totaling more than EUR 325 billion (US$412 billion) in 2010 owing to its high level and range of industries. So energy savings and renewable energy source development is a key focus in Lombardy's Regional Environmental Energy Program. The plan aims to reduce waste and focus on the recovery of materials and energy.

Lombardy is also the first region in Italy to adopt a global strategic plan to analyze climate disruption, the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy of Lombardia Region. The strategy was developed with Fondazione Lombardia per l’Ambiente (Lombardia Foundation for the Environment), a non-profit scientific foundation from the Lombardia Regional Council, to improve technical and scientific knowledge on industrial climate risk by coordinating all departments and sectorial authorities.

Libby Ferguson, States & Regions Director, The Climate Group, said: "We are absolutely delighted to welcome the Region of Lombardy to the States & Regions Alliance. Lombardy is not only one of the most important economic regions in Europe, but it is also the first Italian region to become a member of the States & Regions Alliance. We are looking forward to a fruitful relationship that builds on Lombardy’s existing climate leadership and through our global network, provides access to new ideas, expertise and support for greater climate ambition."

CARBON REDUCTION 

On top of its ambitious climate plans, Lombardy promotes and supports companies committed to energy efficiency, and has also planned regulation to allow a more sustainable use of its soil - an important point, given population density is more than double the national average.

To ease air pollution in the cities, the region is also incentivizing urban sustainable mobility toward clean cars and limitations for the dirtiest vehicles, making it the largest low emission zone in Europe. Lombardy is also part of the Air Quality Initiative of Regions, a group founded in 2011 to share knowledge about air quality management.

Next year Milan, the capital of Lombardy, will host Expo 2015, the next scheduled Universal Exposition. The big event is forecast to emit 1,450 ktCO2eq greenhouse gases, so to reduce this impact, the Region is reducing present emissions and creating new green spaces.

Find out more about Lombardy

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

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