Italy has signed a new agreement to strengthen collaboration on pressing environmental issues, such as clean energy and environmental education.
Italy’s Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti and Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment, signed the agreement on Monday 6 February with the Italian government also making a significant contribution of €5 million to the Environment Fund.
The donation will aid the implementation of key projects to develop a sustainable financial system, boost resource efficiency and reinforce the sustainable management of natural resources and the marine economy.
Erik Solheim said: “This generous contribution is yet another signal of Italy’s unwavering commitment to a clean, safe and healthy planet. We look forward to working with the Italian government to build the green future we all deserve”.
To date, Italy has contributed a total of over €10.5 million ($11.2 million) since 2014.
Italy’s own environmental priorities include the transition to a green economy, clean energy and environmental education.
The Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea (MATTM) and UN Environment also released a new report “Financing the Future”, which stresses that Italy faces a strategic opportunity to harness its financial system for sustainable development.
According to a UNEP press release, the report is the result of a 12-month-long national dialogue on greening Italy’s financial system, which received inputs from over 100 experts from banks, capital markets, insurers, investors, corporations, financial regulators, academics and civil society.
Gian Luca Galletti, Italy’s Minister of the Environment, said: “Strengthening the environmental dimension of finance is essential to deliver our goals for sustainable development and climate change. This report sets out a practical set of proposals to align risks and returns with the sustainability imperative.”
Erik Solheim added: “With this dialogue, Italy is demonstrating real international leadership. We see more and more countries taking a systematic approach to financing sustainable development – and this report will be of immense value both within Italy and beyond.”
Italy will make green finance a theme of its G7 programme in 2017, examining the role of financial centres for sustainability and the needs of small and medium enterprises.
Italy will host the G7 Environment Ministers Summit in June in the Italian city of Bologna.
It is anticipated that Italy will play a key role during the third UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi, this December, where the world’s environment ministers will come together to discuss how to combat pollution across the world.