Italy "must halve oil reliance by 2020"

Environmental group publishes action plan to reduce oil usage in transport, energy

Leading Italian environmental group Legambiente this week unveiled an energy plan aiming to halve reliance on petrol by 2020 and significantly cut the country's greenhouse gas emissions in line with UN Kyoto protocol targets.

The thrust of the plan is on technological innovation in the Italian energy and transport sectors. It proposes greater use of renewable energy, more sustainable power production systems, more ecological building materials and practices, capping of domestic and industrial consumption, and encouragement of greater use of water and rail over road transport.

Italy's greenhouse gas emissions have risen over 6% since 1990, whereas it is committing to reducing them by 6.5% by 2010, Legambiente president Ermete Realacci said. Italy is a major oil importer and fuel costs weigh heavily on the country's electricity production. Greater use of renewable energy sources could reduce Italy's demand for fossil fuels by 2.4% in 2006, 7.1% in 2010 and by 16.8% in 2020, Legambiente claims.

The Legambiente plan proposes that over the next two decades, Italy should install 10,000 megawatts of wind turbine capacity and should boost the use of solar energy. Over the next 10 years, it proposes to increase the number of passengers using public transport by 4% and to increase the amount of goods transported by rail and sea by 5%.

Follow Up:
Legambiente, tel +39 06 86 26 81.

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