28 October 2005

28.10.05. Climate: Italians want to mend ways

Editor’s Note: This is really quite a neat picture of both problem and if not exactly solution, at least the beginning, the first vague outlines of what has to be the solution path. There is no doubt in my mind that without such strong public support and “understanding” (a hard word in this case and not only in Italy) the sustainability agenda will continue to stall. Let me point up what I regard as the critical phrase in the following: 89.8% said they were willing to take concrete measures in their everyday lives to prevent the situation”. No reason to be blindly optimistic, but at least a start. Our start!

Climate: Italians want to mend ways

Most see emissions as key to earth's rising temperature

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 .

Source: http://ansa.it/main/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2005-10-28_1824413.html


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