In 2013, there were 12 operational coal power plants in Italy. These coal plants caused 10 premature deaths every week and represented € 1.4 billions in health costs every year. Today eight of those coal power plants are still in operation.
We call on Italy to commit to exit coal by 2025, for the sake of its citizens’ health, the preservation of its environment, and the fight against climate change.
In the coming days, Italian officials are going to agree the country’s national energy strategy for the next twenty years at least.
This is an ideal opportunity for Italy to commit to phase out coal . This would save thousands of lives and change the future of the country’s energy. We believe Italy must exit coal power by 2025.
In 2013, there were 12 operational coal power plants in Italy. These coal plants caused 10 premature deaths every week and represented €1.4 billion in health costs every year. Today, of those 12 coal power plants, eight are still in operation.
The draft energy strategy includes a potential phase-out of coal power. Unfortunately, the Italian government hasn’t showed clear support for a phase-out. The draft national energy strategy presents 3 different scenarios: 1. A low ambition scenario, with four in 8 coal power plants remaining, including “Federico II” in Brindisi, the most polluting coal power plant in Italy. 2: A medium ambition scenario would close the coal plants in scenario 1, plus the Brindisi coal power plant. 3. A high ambition scenario, in which all Italian coal power plants would close by 2030. But the government is trying to discourage the last scenario, claiming it would be too difficult and entail high costs.
Maybe the government is worried about potential costs of compensating big companies if it ends coal. However, we are worried about the costs in terms of lives that Italy would pay if it does not end coal. The Italian government is proud of having shown leadership and courage on climate and health issues during its 2017 G7 presidency and Taormina summit. We expect politicians to be able to show the same qualities not only on the international stage but also on national energy policy.
We ask for all Italian coal power plants to be closed down permanently by 2025. Postponing this step by five years - as suggested in the government’s most ambitious draft scenario - would mean thousands of human lives lost and health costs far higher than the €3 billion allocated to phase out coal use. It would mean incredibly high costs for the climate, as well as vast poisoned areas for agriculture. Incontrast, a coal exit is the opportunity to create new job opportunities brought by the transition towards renewable energies and energetic efficiency.