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Italy Sectors

What is Italyʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

The building sector is Italy’s third largest emitting sector, accounting for 19% of the country’s total emissions in 2019. Building sector energy intensity has decreased by 35% over the 1990-2019 period but emissions do not show a sustained decline (2019 levels are close to the 1990s’).

In 2019, energy supply to the building sector was mostly coming from gas (around 50%), followed by electricity (itself greatly relying on gas, see ‘Power’ section) and biomass. The most ambitious 1.5°C scenarios see rapidly decrease emissions and fossil gas consumption in buildings, leading to full decarbonisation by 2036, mainly through electrification and biomass substitution. Across all pathways, direct CO₂ emissions in the buildings sector are roughly halved from 2019 levels by 2030, with a reduction of 48-54% by 2030.

Full decarbonisation of the sector could be driven by a high degree of electrification, reaching a share of final energy of roughly 50% by 2030 (almost doubling the 2019 electrification rate of 28%).

A high level of energy efficiency is the prerequisite for an electrification of the building sector. Italy’s national policy on building renovation that aims to meet the minimum requirement set out by the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive, a 3% annual renovation rate of total floor area, would take 30 years to renovate the current stock. It is therefore critical to accelerate the targeted renovation rate, and to make sure that construction and efficiency standards are consistent with the 2050 EU net zero goal.16

1 Government of Italy. Plan for the Ecological Transition. 2021.

2 Ministry of the Economy and Finance of the Republic of Italy. Annex to the Economics and Finance Document 2021. 2021.

3 Group of Seven. Carbis Bay G7 Summit Communiqué. GOV.UK. 2021.


5 ACEA. 2022 Progress Report – Making the transition to zero-emission mobility. 2022.

6 EEA. EEA greenhouse gas data viewer. European Environmental Agency Data Viewer 2021. (Accessed: 25th January 2021)

7 European Commission. Road transport: Reducing CO2 emissions from vehicles. 2020. Available at: (Accessed: 15th January 2020)

8 Government of Italy. Italy. 2020 National Inventory Report (NIR). (2020).

9 Instituto Superior per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale. Indicators of efficiency and the decarbonization of the national energy system and the power sector. 2022.

10 European Commission. Commission Staff Working Document Impact Assessment Report. 2021.

11 Eurostat. Final energy consumption by sector – Italy. 2022.

12 International Energy Agency. Energy data and statistics. 2021. Available at: (Accessed: 2nd February 2020)

13 European Commission. COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT Assessment of the final national energy and climate plan of Italy. 2020.

14 Government of Italy. Executive Summary- National long-term strategies: Italy. 2021.

15 European Commission. 2050 long-term strategy. 2021. Available at: (Accessed: 18th May 2021)

16 Government of Italy. Italian Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan. 2019.

17 European Commission. Italy draft national energy and climate plan. 29–30. 2019.

18 IEA. Renewables 2021 Analysis and forecasts to 2026. 2021.

19 Reuters. Italy clinches gas deal with Algeria to temper Russian reliance. Reuters. Available at: (2022).

20 ISPRA. Italian Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2019. 2021.

21 Government of Italy. Italian Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2020: National Inventory Report 2022. 2022.

22 IEA. Global EV Data Explorer. IEA. 2022.

23 World Bank. GDP per capita (current LCU). The World Bank. 2021.

24 Gazzetta Ufficiale Della Repubblica Italiana. Decreto Del Presidente Del Consiglio Dei Ministri 6 Aprille 2022. Riconoscimento degli incentivi per l’acquisto di veicoli non inquinanti. 2022.

25 See assumptions here:

26 Electric or hybrid vehicles with off-vehicle charging, powered by methane and hydrogen, and electricity and methane in the case of buses.

27 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available, thus we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

Italyʼs energy mix in the buildings sector

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020502 000
Low energy demand
20192030204020502 000
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 000
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biomass
  • Biogas
  • Biofuel
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen

Italyʼs buildings sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible buildings sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions and shares of electricity, heat and biomass in the buildings final energy demand from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Italy

Decarbonised buildings sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
28 to 32
1 to 10
0 to 1
2036 to 2047
Relative to reference year in %
−54 to −48%
−98 to −83%
−100 to −98%
Share of electricity
48 to 50
67 to 68
75 to 86
Share of heat
3 to 4
5 to 6
6 to 9
Share of hydrogen
0 to 5
0 to 24
0 to 25