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Italy Sectors

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

Energy use by industry accounted for 12% of Italy’s total GHG emissions in 2019, making it the fourth largest emitting sector, or third when process emissions are considered. However, emissions have been decreasing, falling by 35% between 2003 to 2019, though this is largely due to an overall decline in this sector due to economic downturns in 2009 and 2013. The production of iron and steel contributed roughly 20% of total industrial CO₂ emissions in 2019.20 Most 1.5°C compatible scenarios require similar emission reduction rates to be sustained over the coming decades to reduce direct CO₂ emissions from industry by 57-60% by 2030 and reach 80-93% by 2040. One scenario, the high energy demand scenario, would see a full decarbonisation of the sector by 2037.

Industry’s energy mix is currently 41% electricity and close to 35% fossil gas. Decarbonisation could be driven by a drastic reduction of fossil gas consumption and accelerated electrification to reach around 50% by 2030 and around 60% by 2040.

Process emissions, which accounted for 8% of the total GHG emissions in 2019, have decreased by 44% between 2006-2017.21 The continuation of this declining trend would align Italy’s industry sector with the 1.5°C scenarios, in combination with a rapid phase out of fossil gas. Failing such a rapid gas phase out, equivalent emissions reductions would need to be achieved with costly and unproven carbon dioxide removal technologies.

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.

4 Government of Italy. STRATEGIA ITALIANA DI LUNGO TERMINE SULLA RIDUZIONE DELLE EMISSIONI DEI GAS A EFFETTO SERRA. 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: ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/transport/vehicles_de. (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: www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/data-tables?country=ITALY. (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: ec.europa.eu/clima/policies/strategies/2050_en. (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: www.reuters.com/business/energy/italy-signs-deal-with-algeria-increase-gas-imports-2022-04-11/ (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: 1p5ndc-pathways.climateanalytics.org/methodology/#ita-ndc

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 industry sector

petajoule per year

Scaling
SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020501 0001 500
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020501 0001 500
Low energy demand
20192030204020501 0001 500
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020501 0001 500
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biomass
  • Biogas
  • Biofuel
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen

Italyʼs industry sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)

MtCO₂/yr

Unit
02040608010019902010203020502070
  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

Italyʼs GHG emissions from industrial processes

MtCO₂e/yr

0102030405019902010203020502070
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible industry sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions, direct electrification rates, and combined shares of electricity, hydrogen and biomass from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Italy

Indicator
2019
2030
2040
2050
Decarbonised industry sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
MtCO₂/yr
43
17 to 19
3 to 9
0 to 5
2037 to 2054
Relative to reference year in %
−60 to −57%
−93 to −80%
−99 to −88%
Indicator
2019
2030
2040
2050
Share of electricity
Percent
41
48 to 50
58 to 64
63 to 65
Share of electricity, hydrogren and biomass
Percent
43
50 to 58
60 to 79
67 to 74

Footnotes