Unlike other large European countries (Germany, France, the UK and Spain), Italy does not have a national economy-wide emissions reduction target in addition to its contribution to the EU target. In March 2022, Italy’s Plan for the Ecological Transition (PITE) was adopted including a non-binding emissions reduction target by 2030 of 51% below the 1990 levels.
Italy’s final national energy and climate plan (NECP) sets a 2030 reduction target for GHG emissions not covered by the EU emissions trading system (non-ETS) at 33% below 2005 levels by 2030. For the EU emissions trading system (ETS) sectors, we use the EU-wide target of a 43% reduction below 2005 levels to estimate Italy’s implied 2030 emissions reductions target which leads, in aggregate, to a reduction of total GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) of 37% below 2005 levels by 2030 ., The target is likely to change through the ongoing negotiations on the Fit for 55 Package at the EU-level which is redefining EU Member State targets with Italy’s revised effort sharing regulation (ESR) target raised to 43.7% below 2005 levels (as opposed to 33% previously).
Italy’s implied 2030 emissions reductions target based on its integrated national energy and climate plan (NECP) results in 30% emissions reduction below 1990 levels excluding LULUCF. The 2021 Economic and Finance Document of the Finance Ministry shows an updated projection leading to higher reduction cuts than the NECP targets, equivalent to 49% emissions reduction below 2005 levels by 2030 and 42% emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030.
In contrast, Italy should reduce GHG emissions by 61-71% below 1990 levels and reach 149-201 MtCO₂e by 2030 to be in line with 1.5°C compatible pathways. Italy would need to roughly double its targeted emissions reduction (compared to those outlined in its NECP) between now and 2030 to be aligned with 1.5°C pathways.
A full fair share contribution to reduce global GHG emissions that is compatible with the Paris Agreement would require Italy to go further than its domestic emissions target, and provide substantial support for emission reductions to developing countries on top of its domestic reductions.
Long term pathway
As of June 2022, Italy has not yet submitted a long-term strategy (LTS) to the UNFCCC according to the 2020 deadline of the Paris Agreement and the 2021 G7 commitment to submit it by COP26. However, Italy has sent the EU Commission its long term strategy, published in 2021.,
To be compatible with a 1.5°C pathway, Italy would need total greenhouse gas emissions to be in the range of -26 to 46 MtCO₂e (with a middle of the range of 33 MtCO₂e/yr) by 2050, excluding the contribution of LULUCF sinks, while CO₂ emissions would need to be almost completely phased out by then. In some scenarios, the country would already be net-negative. Our models show negative emissions need to be achieved in the energy sector. The Italian LTS sets outs that negative emissions in 2050 would be achieved mainly through carbon sinks in the LULUCF sectors, bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and behavioural changes.