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The ECF’s Italy Programme aims to help broaden and deepen the political consensus for a just transition towards a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economy. Together with stakeholders and partners in the country, the programme seeks to use innovative voices and compelling stories to foster the political debate in line with more ambitious decarbonisation policies and to make the case for a just transition.

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Key challenges

  • Political inertia and polarization between regional governments and public authorities constrained by high levels of bureaucracy limit the scope for ambitious decarbonisation policies.
  • The presence of large, powerful oil and gas companies, partially owned by the state, jeopardize ambitious climate and energy goals and slow down the Italian economy’s transition.
  • A weak and fragmented civil society with limited ability to fully participate in or influence the national debate, often due to capacity constraints and scarce resources.
  • The severe effects of Covid-19 and the energy crisis in the country triggered widespread socio-economic distress. Climate change policies should be designed and implemented to foster social equity, economic stability, and a healthy environment.


Through the ECF’s Italy Programme, we seek to:

  • Support the development of climate neutrality policy instruments based on medium and long-term targets: Several key national strategic documents related to climate change and ecological transition are being discussed, our network is actively working on helping to improve domestic policies that drive emissions reduction in the national economy.
  • Supporting consistent, sectoral actions aligned with the EU and domestic climate targets: The transport and building sectors account for almost 50% of the overall CO2 emissions in Italy. More robust policies and consistent financial schemes are necessary to reduce the impact of these sectors. Moreover, the phasing out of fossil fuels in the power system is instrumental to lay the foundation for decarbonising the Italian economy.
  • Making the just transition more tangible: Climate mitigation and energy decarbonisation actions have a direct impact on the socio-economic context. Highlighting the benefits and mitigating the disadvantages is paramount to guarantee civil society support and long-term sustainability.
  • Strengthening and expanding public engagement: Abstentionism and public disengagement are increasing phenomena across Italy. Citizens and activists should be able to access the necessary means and opportunities to actively contribute to national and local debates on mitigation and adaptation actions on climate change.
  • Leveraging Italy’s position at the European level: As the third-largest national economy in the EU, Italy plays a significant role in EU decision-making processes.

How we work

The ECF identifies gaps in the Italian response to climate change by supporting organisations and stakeholder coalitions with the necessary expertise to address key issues at both local and national levels. We take a broad approach to the types of interventions we fund – from litigation and advocacy to research and media engagement – because all of these activities build towards an ambitious and thoughtful movement that reflects the full diversity of our society. Together with our grantees, we seek social and political transformation that will ensure a secure and sustainable future for all.


Hernan del Valle

Executive Director Mobility, Industry & Mediterranean Programmes

Gio Pesce

Strategic Communications Lead, Italy

Fabio Stevanato

Director, Italy Programme