OECD Environmental Performance Reviews

1990-0090 (online)
1990-0104 (print)
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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews provide independent assessments of countries’ progress in achieving domestic and international environmental policy commitments and goals, together with policy-relevant recommendations.  They address the management of air, water, waste, biodiversity, and land; they examine the relationship between economic and social policy and the environment; and they describe the subject country’s international co-operation in such areas as climate change, marine pollution and development co-operation.  Each report includes a broad range of economic and environmental statistical data. On average, five or six countries are reviewed each year.

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OECD Environmental Performance Reviews: Italy 2013

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08 Mar 2013
9789264186378 (PDF) ;9789264183926(print)

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The OECD Environmental Performance Review Programme provides independent assessments of countries’ progress in achieving their domestic and international environmental policy commitments, together with policy relevant recommendations. They are conducted to promote peer learning, to enhance countries’ accountability to each other and to the public, and to improve governments’ environmental performance, individually and collectively. The Reviews are supported by a broad range of economic and environmental data. Each cycle of the Environmental Performance Reviews covers all OECD member countries and selected partner countries. The most recent reviews include: Mexico (2013), Germany (2012) and Slovenia (2012).

This report is the third OECD review of Italy’s environmental performance. It evaluates progress towards sustainable development and green growth, with a focus on policies that promote more effective and efficient water management and provide better incentives to tackle climate change.

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  • Preface

    Over the past two years, Italy has made a tremendous effort to speed up long overdue structural reforms to put public finances on a sounder track, to revive and modernise its economy, and to restore growth and competitiveness.

  • Foreword

    The principal aim of the OECD Environmental Performance Review programme is to help member and selected partner countries to improve their individual and collective performance in environmental management by:

  • General notes
  • Executive summary

    Italy’s economy, the sixth largest in the OECD, is highly dependent on imports of energy and raw materials. It is also diverse, with a more economically advanced, richer North and a less developed, poorer South. Regional differences and disparities have been reinforced by a major devolution of legislative and administrative responsibilities. Italy’s average annual growth between 2000 and 2007 was the lowest among OECD countries. From 2008, the economy was deeply affected by the global economic crisis. Economic policy has increasingly been driven by the need to promote growth while consolidating the public budget.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Progress towards sustainable development

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    • Key environmental trends

      This chapter provides a snapshot of some key environmental trends in Italy between 2002 and 2012. It highlights some of the country’s main environmental achievements, as well as the remaining challenges on the path towards a greener economy and sustainable development. The chapter describes Italy’s progress in reducing the carbon, energy and material intensities of its economy; in managing its natural asset base, including water and biodiversity resources; and in improving the environmental quality of life.

    • Policy-making environment

      This chapter reviews the main strategies and initiatives launched in the areas of sustainable development and environmental management during the period 2002-12. It examines Italy’s environmental governance, the regulatory framework for environmental protection, and programmes to ensure compliance with environmental requirements. The chapter also reviews the application of mechanisms in place to improve horizontal and vertical co-ordination, as well as the instruments used to systematically evaluate the environmental impacts of economic and sectoral policies. Progress in promoting environmental democracy, through open access to information and improved public participation in decision making, is also discussed, along with a programme promoting environmental education.

    • Towards green growth

      This chapter presents efforts to mainstream environment into Italy’s economic policy. It examines the use of tax policy to pursue environmental objectives and progress in removing fiscal incentives that can encourage environmentally harmful activities. Opportunities for green tax reform are also assessed. The chapter includes a discussion of public and private investment in environmental protection and resource use, as well as environment-related infrastructure. Investment in clean energy and sustainable transport modes are also discussed. In addition, the chapter examines promotion of environmental technologies and eco-innovation along with the growth of an internationally competitive environmental goods and services sector as a source of economic growth and jobs. Finally, the international dimensions of Italy’s environmental policy are reviewed, with a focus on mainstreaming the environment into development co-operation programmes, greening export credit systems, and promoting the corporate social responsibility of Italian multinational enterprises.

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  • Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Progress towards selected environmental objectives

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    • Multi-level environmental governance: Water

      This chapter examines Italy’s water management policies from a multi-level governance perspective. It presents the main trends in water quality and quantity and in the development of water-related infrastructure, including regional differences. It provides insights on the evolution of policy, legal and institutional frameworks for water management, along with governance challenges in managing water resources. The chapter highlights the interconnection between governance and financing of water management and the way they can be addressed jointly through the mitigation of territorial and institutional fragmentation, better management planning, further engagement of stakeholders, improvement of the information base, and wider use of economic instruments for river basin management. Finally, this chapter presents efforts to improve Italy’s water supply and sanitation sector and to strengthen its financial sustainability.

    • Climate change

      This chapter reviews policy initiatives implemented over the last decade in Italy to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It examines the strategic and institutional frameworks and the mechanisms in place to manage interactions between different policy instruments and monitor their implementation. It assesses progress in using market-based instruments such as emission trading and energy taxes. The chapter analyses the effectiveness of measures implemented in the energy sector, including those to promote renewables and energy efficiency. This chapter also examines measures to reduce transport-related GHG emissions, including improving the emission performance of vehicles and developing effective and efficient urban transport systems. Finally, the chapter analyses steps taken to integrate adaptation to climate change into sectoral policies as well as regional and local activities.

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