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Italy Sectors

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

The transport sector is Italy’s largest emitting sector, making up 25% of Italy’s total GHG emissions in 2019. All 1.5°C scenarios require a rapid reduction of transport emissions. Over 2007-2017, the sector’s emissions decreased by 21%. This rate of decline would need to accelerate (in three out of the four scenarios) to reach zero emissions by 2050.

To be 1.5°C compatible, direct CO₂ emissions should decrease by 51-67% by 2030 compared to 2019. According to ECCO’s estimates, this reduction is equivalent to deliver between 13-18 million battery electric vehicles (BEV), which is about four times the target of the NECP (4 million) and about three times the target of PITE (6 million).

In all analysed scenarios, energy consumption of the transport sector decreases over time until 2050. Oil, which accounted for more than 90% of the energy mix in 2019, is phased out by 2050 in almost all pathways, and the sector reaches full decarbonisation in the late 2040s. This is driven by an uptake of electrified transport from 3% in 2019 to 16-57% by 2030, and up to 75% by 2040, depending on the scenario. Biofuels complement the mix reaching around 9-15% share by 2030 and 13-24% by 2040.

Italy will need to implement policies incentivising the sale of small and medium size EVs, and the development of charging infrastructure to foster the sector’s decarbonisation. In 2021, Italy ranked 12th in the EU in terms of the percentage of electric passenger cars registered with less than 10% of the market share (both BEV and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV)).

Market uptake of EVs is largely linked to a country’s GDP per capita, showing that affordability remains an issue for consumers. In the EU, major EV sales are concentrated in a handful of countries that have already registered over a 20% market share, such as Sweden (43%), Denmark (35%), The Netherlands (30%), and Germany (26%), each of which has a GDP above €40,000 per capita.22 In 2021, with an average GDP per capita of around €30,058 Italy’s EV market share was 9.5%.23

Italy will need to implement new policies and ramp up existing ones incentivising the sales of small and medium size EVs to increase consumer uptake, going beyond its current policy of offering €5000 per battery electric vehicle.24 Increasing uptake is key to achieving economies of scale in production, which reduces purchasing price and creates a positive feedback loop that would facilitate this sector’s decarbonisation. In support of this process, Italy will also need to accelerate the deployment of public charging infrastructure.

In its NECP, Italy includes a target of a 22% share of renewable energy in the transport sector’s final energy mix by 2030. This share falls short of what the Low Energy Demand scenario requires. Decarbonising the power sector through a higher share of renewable energy (around 67%) than the current target of 55% (see the power section for more details) is a prerequisite for decarbonisation of the transport sector through electrification.

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 transport sector

petajoule per year

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 transport 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 transport sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions and shares of electricity, biofuels and hydrogen in the transport final energy demand from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Italy

Decarbonised transport sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
33 to 49
11 to 20
0 to 8
2047 to 2052
Relative to reference year in %
−67 to −51%
−89 to −80%
−100 to −93%
Share of electricity
16 to 57
37 to 75
44 to 83
Share of biofuels
9 to 15
13 to 24
11 to 38
Share of hydrogen
2 to 3
7 to 38
16 to 38