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“How to decarbonise our economies? Sharing Italian and British experiences and perspectives”



“How to decarbonise our economies? Sharing Italian and British experiences and perspectives”

As the COP26 in Glasgow approaches, the Italy4Innovation series turns to green issues, with a series of events dedicated to energy transition. The first of these events was held on 8 September 2021, in collaboration with Eni, an energy company that has operated in the UK since 1967, and compared British and Italian experiences and prospects for decarbonisation. The range of solutions required by the transition to more sustainable energy, including renewable sources, technology and policy, was examined. It was also noted that climate-change policies have to fit into a context of regional and local differences and inconsistencies in levels of development.

Bassam Fattouh, the director of the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, observed that there is not just one path to transition and even within regions there is a lack of linearity, and that this calls for programmes that are flexible. Eni’s head of institutional affairs, Lapo Pistelli, said that in this complex process, traditional energy companies, like Eni, must be considered part of the solution. He described the group’s planned contributions, including its projects to reduce its emissions. In the UK, for example, alongside its traditional oil and gas exploration and extraction activities, Eni is developing a project to capture and store carbon in exhausted hydrocarbon fields in the Liverpool Bay area. The HyNet consortium, which Eni heads, also has a project to reduce emissions from energy-hungry industrial districts in central England and to produce so-called blue hydrogen.

In his opening address, Ambassador Raffaele Trombetta said that the fight against climate change and environmental sustainability initiatives are central to the partnership between Italy and the UK. This year the partnership centres on the two countries’ co-presidency of COP26 and coordination of the agendas for their respective presidencies of the G7 and G20. He also said that Italy gives great weight to Italy’s National Plan for Resilience and Recovery, in which 31% of the resources are dedicated to ecological transition.

The other participants were Philip Hemmens (head of North Europe at Eni), Rachel Perry (Progressive Enrgy ltd and project manager at HyNet) and Guy Madgwick (CEO of Red Rock Power). The panel was moderated by Massimo Carnelos, head of the Embassy’s Economic and Trade office.