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Toward the European elections: Meloni wants to bury the Green Deal


A direct, frontal attack on the Green Deal. The Fratelli d'Italia's program for the European elections June 8th does not hide it; on the contrary, it clearly warns in full populist tone that it wants to dismantle and rewrite the European agreement that laid the foundations for the ecological transition.

Meloni's program. “The eco-follies of the Green Deal written by the European left condemn us to unhappy degrowth.

A lie. Meloni's thinking is written in the document “With Giorgia Italy changes Europe,” where, however, the European left is mistakenly attributed with the drafting of the directives, in truth brought forward by, among others, Ursula von der Leyen whose consensus in the Europarliament rests on a large majority ranging from the center-right to the center-left uniting popular, socialists and liberals.

Europe's tasks according to Meloni.

When Meloni, at the beginning of the program explains what are the big issues that the European Union should deal with, the words environment and climate never appear. The list includes foreign policy, defense, external border security, migration regulation, the single market and energy.

Sustainability is a state affair.

The environment is relegated to national policies, which Europe should limit itself to anyway. “Strategies for achieving climate goals,” reads the Fratelli d'Italia document, “should be decided by individual member states, compatible with industrial models and the specificities of the different contexts.

As if to say that EU policy should not deal with these issues, leaving full freedom to countries, despite the fact that Europe must then guarantee funds for the green transition

But what does Meloni want to change?

There are two main issues. 1) The first contested environmental issue is the Green Homes Directive: it needs to be radically changed “to protect property owners and make the building stock efficient in a gradual and sustainable way, providing adequate incentives at the EU level.”

Just over a month ago, Italy and Hungary were the only two countries to vote against approval of the Energy performance of buildings directive, which passed with the assent of 20 countries out of the 27 voting. The new regulations require the EU's building stock to be zero-emission by 2050, through an improvement that is already designed, contrary to Meloni's claims, to be progressive.

Each country will have to indicate in National Plans how it intends to meet the interim targets (for 2030 it is set at 16 percent), but it will not be able to do so exclusively through new construction.

The catch-all. Meloni's move more than environmentalist is, as always, electoral: canceling, for example, the ban on methane boilers scheduled for 2040 certainly has appeal to those who go to the polls, given that 17.5 million buildings in Italy are heated by methane.

The same reasoning applies to 2) the second point: the directive on gasoline and diesel cars. Meloni wants to “cancel,” the program says, “the halt to the production of endothermic-powered cars from 2035: revitalize the automotive sector according to the principle of technological neutrality, investing in all alternative fuels and not just electric, and develop the biofuel supply chain while protecting the companies in the supply chain.

The ban on endothermic engines on cars that can be sold in 2035 was approved by the European Parliament with 340 votes for, 279 against, and 21 abstentions, and was subsequently ratified by energy ministers with only Poland voting against out of 27 and Italy, Romania, and Bulgaria abstaining.

The encore vote-catcher. Car, like house, is also a very sensitive electoral topic in Italy, where according to Eurostat data we have the highest incidence of cars per thousand inhabitants: we are first with 684 cars against a European average of 560 cars.

Countries like Spain (553), France (578) and Germany (578) have significantly lower numbers than us. Thus promoting more lax car regulations can obviously bring less environmentally sensitive voters closer together.

Why Meloni's strategy is wrong.

However, Meloni's approach to the Green transition is losing and disingenuous when he claims that she wants to make our businesses more “sustainable and competitive.” Faced with the changes taking place and the new and necessary rules to curb environmental drift, companies have three ways to deal with them: the first by trying to minimize risk, the second by trying to adapt to the rules, and the third by investing in transformation.

The first two are conservative and experience sustainability as a cost, while the third, advocated in all the best business schools, turns sustainability into an opportunity for growth and is the only way to make the company more “competitive and sustainable.”

Bottom line.

Trying as Meloni's electoral program wants to slow down the transformation, means fighting a rearguard battle, not understanding the great opportunity that thanks to EU funds Italy and European companies have in front of them, that is to lay the foundations to be the leaders of the future and not to condemn themselves alone to be old companies, out of business and destined to disappear. Investing in the new rules means being sustainable and competitive at the same time; countering them means the opposite and pushing the country toward industrial desertification.

La Repubblica


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