Italy's smog summit agrees three-year plan

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-12-31 11:26:12

A meeting held on Wednesday between Italy's Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti and local government heads agreed a three-year plan to cut high levels of smog in the country's largest cities.

According to ANSA reports, the measures approved include a 12-million spending plan to revamp public transport with more, and greener buses, trams and trains; measures to help people scrap Italy's most polluting vehicles; reducing heating in buildings by two degrees Centigrade; and cutting urban speed limits by 20 km/h.

The meeting raised a national three-year "strategic" plan to combat smog and decided to set up an environmental coordinating committee and a task force made up of big-city mayors and regional governors.

"This is a great alliance and a great success thanks to regions, cities, and the ministry," Galletti said.

The environment ministry proposed setting up the 12-million-euro fund for cities to spend on public transport and car-sharing. The fund would be available immediately, the ministry said.

Galletti also proposed new smog-busting rules for urban areas, in cases when smog levels rise above safety limits for more than seven consecutive days.

The minister said the measures would "put an end to the (current) babel of anti-smog measures".

Turin Mayor Piero Fassino, the head of the National Association of Municipalities (ANCI), said the decisions mean "we're going from local interventions to a national strategy...for the first time".

Emilia Romagna Governor Stefano Bonaccini said Italy should set up "an extraordinary fund for everything needed to scrap the most polluting cars".

Bonaccini, who heads Italy's 20 regions in their dealings with central government, said replacing cars was "important to cut emissions".

The smog emergency continued Wednesday despite car bans in Rome, Milan and other cities.

Posted in: Europe

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