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Cities and networks facing the challenge of climate adaptation


November 23, 2021

Today Legambiente presents the 2021 report of the Observatory CittàClima of Legambiente, with Enel Foundation as Scientific Partner and the contribution of Unipol Group.

The aim was to raise awareness and provide scientific analysis on the impacts that the climate crisis has on urban areas and on the Italian territory, urging for an acceleration of climate adaptation policies, at national and local level. The effects of the climate crisis keep manifesting with increasingly catastrophic consequences, like record heat, intense rainfall, extreme hailstorms, violent tornadoes and floods. In Italy the impact of climate change is under everyone's eyes and the data on the acceleration of these phenomena are increasingly worrying.

From 2010 to November 1, 2021, in the Peninsula there were 1,118 extreme events recorded on the map of climate risk, 133 over the course of last year, marking a +17.2% compared to the last edition of the report. The most alarming impacts were recorded in 602 Italian municipalities, 95 more than last year (almost +18%). Specifically, there have been 486 cases of flooding and 406 cases of stops to infrastructures due to heavy rains with 83 days of stop to subways and urban trains, 308 events with damages caused by whirlwinds, 134 events caused by river flooding, 48 cases of damages caused by prolonged periods of drought and extreme temperatures, 41 cases of landslides caused by heavy rains and 18 cases of damages to historical heritage.

This new report includes for the first time extreme hailstorms, phenomena that affect with increasing intensity and frequency countryside and urban centers, and an in-depth study on the resilience of electricity and rail networks made in collaboration with Terna, e-distribuzione, Italian State Railways.

The report highlights that not all territories are the same when extreme climatic phenomena occur: the most affected are large urban areas such as Rome, Bari, Milan, Genoa, Palermo and coastal areas such as the coast of Romagna, eastern Sicily, the coast of Agrigento, etc.

It overviews a variety of best practices with successful track records in risk prevention and climate change adaptation in Italy and abroad like sustainable building regulations, smart mapping, promotion of renewable energy sources. Then action plans to reduce consumption in public and industrial buildings are put forth, together with sustainable management of infrastructure and networks, promotion of sustainable urban agriculture, urban forestation projects, and targeted interventions such as the creation of drainage areas.

Legambiente reiterates the urgency of approving the National Climate Adaptation Plan as soon as possible. There are 23 EU countries, with the addition of the United Kingdom, which have adopted a national or sectoral climate adaptation plan, and Italy is not among them.

In this perspective, four priorities have been identified to increase resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change:

1.    Approve the Climate Change Adaptation Plan;

2.    Provide a program of funding and intervention for the 14 areas of the country most affected since 2010;

3.    Strengthen the role of District Authorities and Municipalities in the interventions to tackle hydrogeological instability;

4.    Review urban planning regulations in order to save people from climate change impacts.

Carlo Papa, Enel Foundation Managing Director, will attend the presentation event and share his views on climate change issues with distinguished present experts. See the program event here.

November 23, 2021 – 3:00-5:30pm

Follow the event live here or here.



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