Climate: Italians want to mend ways
Rome, October 28 - An overwhelming majority of Italians accept that human activity is causing climate change and are willing to alter their lifestyles to stop it happening, according to a new poll .
Some 94.1% of Italians have no doubts that man-made pollution is the main cause of global warming, the survey by Doxa-Dnv revealed. What's more, 89.8% said they were willing to take concrete measures in their everyday lives to prevent the situation deteriorating .
They said they were ready to make lifestyle changes, like using their cars less, in order to reduce urban smog and emissions of greenhouse gases .
But while the results suggest Italian people are well informed about the greenhouse effect, they appear much less familiar with the international agreement that aims to stop it - the 1997 Kyoto Protocol .
Only 21% were very or quite familiar with the treaty; 37.2% had heard of it but knew very little or nothing about it, and 42% had not heard of it at all
Ignorance was greatest among young Italians, with more than half of 15-to-24-year-olds unaware of Kyoto's existence. Doxa-Dnv said this age group was also slightly less inclined to change its habits for the environment .
The Doxa-Dnv poll also revealed that more than two-thirds of Italians - 66.8% - believe local authorities, central government and the private sector are not doing enough to combat climate change and pollution .
Five regional governments announced Friday that they had agreed on a plan to improve air quality in northern Italy .
The regions of Piedmont, Lombardy, Veneto and Emilia Romagna, and the autonomous province of Trento signed an agreement to reduce pollution via a series of measures .
These include financial incentives to encourage individuals and businesses to use vehicles powered by environmentally friendly fuels like hydrogen, and the replacement of old public transport buses with greener models .
Italian cities frequently have to impose emergency traffic restrictions when pollution levels get particularly high .
The World Health Organisation estimates that more than 15,000 people die in Italy every year because of car-exhaust fumes .