Italy looks abroad to achieve Kyoto gas cuts

Government relies on flexible mechanisms to deliver half of target greenhouse gas reduction

Italian environment minister Altero Matteoli yesterday announced his government's strategy to cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 6.5% on 1990 levels by 2008-12, as agreed under the Kyoto protocol. The plan relies on the protocol's three "flexible mechanisms" of emissions trading and joint projects with other countries to deliver half of the required emissions cuts.

This approach should please Italian industry groups, which had urged the government to minimise "command and control" measures to meet Kyoto targets (EED 04/06/02). Italy is the second EU country to be forced to rely on the flexible mechanisms for half of required emission cuts, following an example set by the Netherlands (EED 23/06/99).

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