Earth Day Italia Shines A Light On Methane

By Flavia Sollazzo

One of Italy’s most picturesque cities, Venice, topped the list of European regions most at risk for floods and sea level rise in a recent climate analysis from Cross Dependency Initiative. The research comes just weeks before thousands of environmental activists, experts, government officials, celebrities and citizens will descend on Rome for Earth Day Italia to stress the urgency and need for solutions that will create a healthier and safer planet for everyone.

One urgent climate opportunity has made this year’s main stage: methane.

Methane: A Quick and Affordable Climate Solution

Cutting methane pollution is the quickest and most affordable way to slow global warming now and avoid worsening the acute climate impacts we are experiencing today. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with over 80 times the warming power of CO2 in the short term. Fossil fuels, agriculture and other sources are responsible for the lion’s share of the problem. Fortunately, there are many proven fixes to rapidly reduce methane emissions this decade, particularly in the oil and gas sector. See a quick primer from Bill Nye in English or Italian.

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At Earth Day Italia, Senior Director of EU Energy Transition at EDF, Flavia Sollazzo, will bring this topic to a mainstage session titled “Beyond (Un)sustainable Development”,  moderated by Repubblica journalist Riccardo Luna. Together with esteemed experts including Johan Rockstroem and Walter Ganapini,  there will be a discussion about the future of our planet, its limited resources and climate solutions.

The discussion will also be live-streamed on Italy’s largest news wire ANSA to allow for a wider Italian audience to tune in. Methane will also appear prominently as part of the Earth Day marathon on Italy’s national TV network, with the help of Bill Nye and Italian comedian Max Paiella.

Earth Day Italia’s Timing Couldn’t Be Better

Countries and companies around the world are moving on methane. As Europe reshapes its energy supply and Italy makes moves to become an EU energy hub, focusing on methane reductions across the oil and gas supply chain is an opportunity for Italy to demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility and collaboration with supplier countries.

New EU methane regulation could pave the way for Italy to reduce and avoid harmful methane emissions within the bloc and outside its borders. As a main component of natural gas, the waste of methane is not only fueling our energy crisis, it’s fueling more intense and costly climate impacts — including last summer’s wildfires in Italy that scarred our land and our lungs. The details of the soon-to-be-signed regulation are being negotiated in the European Parliament now. The power to lead by example and drive methane action globally is at the EU’s fingertips.

The last few years have illustrated Europe’s complicated energy decisions. But they’ve also solidified the need to move toward cleaner, climate-safe energy policy in Italy, throughout Europe and around the world. That can’t happen without tackling oil and gas methane.

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