The G7 begins in Turin on the environment, energy and climate. Protests outside Venaria Palace

The G7 on Climate, Energy and Environment opens today, Sunday 28 April, at the Venaria Reale in Turin. A three-day event where ministers from Italy, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as leading representatives of European institutions, will gather outside the gates of the Piedmont metropolis. Italy, Minister Gilberto Pichetto assured, will be at the meeting “with clear ideas and the determination necessary to make this G7 the bearer of real and ambitious results.” The priorities of the summit, he added, concern the consolidation of “initiatives already underway” and a number of joint actions with the aim of “putting a strong push on the development of renewable energy sources”, but also “all sources that, with scientific support, can guarantee energy security and contribute to achieving the goals in of the environment’. A not-so-veiled reference to nuclear power, a source of energy in which the current Italian government has repeatedly shown its interest. “The topic of nuclear energy will be discussed, then we have to see what the agreement will be for the final statement: we will talk about fusion and we will talk about fission,” Pichetto elaborated.

Bridge between Cop28 and Cop29

The summit, which opens today at the Venaria Reale, serves primarily as a bridge between COP28 in Dubai and COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan. At last year’s climate summit, almost two hundred countries unanimously pledged to phase out fossil fuels (gas, oil and coal), the main cause of global warming. The summit, which starts today in Turin, explains the think tank Ecco, “represents the first moment that shows how the G7 countries interpret the commitments made in Dubai”. According to experts, there are three pillars on which appointments will be judged these days. First, “agreement on a strategic framework aimed at designing and developing national economy-wide transition plans, in line with the objective of limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees”. The second pillar: outline a strategy through which “the G7 countries intend to make the transition from coal, oil and gas to renewables and energy efficiency, the two main priorities that emerged from COP28”. Finally: reach an agreement on an instrument “to facilitate the energy transition and resilience on a global scale”, with a special focus on developing countries.

Rebuke of experts

With the summit in Turin in mind these days, the Climate Analytics think tank took a closer look at the G7 countries’ emission reduction plans. The result: none of them are on track to meet their 2030 targets. According to Climate Analytics, the G7 economies need to cut their emissions by 58% by the end of the decade (compared to 2019 levels) to meet the Paris pledge. Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels. “These economies, which account for 38% of global GDP, are not doing what is necessary, despite having both the technology and financial resources to make the leap in quality,” commented Neil Grant, lead author of the analysis.

Problems on the table

The official program published by the Ministry of the Environment helps outline what will be discussed at the G7 in Turin these days. Regarding the environment, the focus will be on “sustainable consumption and production, circular economy and resource efficiency”, with special reference to the “topic of recycling of critical raw materials and circulation in the textile and fashion industry”. Subsequently, they will address the topics of the fight against pollution, biodiversity, ecosystems, seas, oceans and the sustainable use of water resources. On climate and energy, it “will address the topic of the Net Zero agenda, with objectives aimed at strengthening storage systems and flexibility to drive a strong contribution from renewables”. But there will also be room to talk about energy efficiency and strengthening security, “especially for the supply chain of critical minerals necessary for the development of renewable resources.”

Italian push for nuclear power

Among the “new energy technologies” to be discussed by environment ministers is nuclear power, an issue that is dividing not only public opinion but also governments themselves. For example, Germany and Spain have started the process of decommissioning their power plants and want to go the route of only renewable sources. Other countries, such as France, on the other hand, are betting on the potential of atomic energy. “When it comes to nuclear energy, we are in favor of research and experimentation: we believe that this is the solution that will ensure continuity in the future. It is not an immediate problem, but on this front we are firmly committed also with large companies at the national level, with universities and research centers, so we are fully cultivating the nuclear option,” said Pichetto, clarifying Italy’s position.


For several days, even before the leaders of the seven world powers met at the Venaria Reale, various protests took place in front of the palace. “You are 7, we are 99%. Against climate, environment, energy G7”, proclaimed a banner from the Fridays for Future parade on Friday 19 April in Turin. A new demonstration is planned in the city today, where various ecological associations will gather. Among the movements that have challenged the Italian-led summit in recent days is Extinction Rebellion, which organized a protest outside RAI headquarters in Turin. Some activists – armed with tricycles, clown wigs and flags – put up a banner reading: “Environment G7: -2 days until the circus starts”. According to what the environmental movement reports, the police headquarters reported 60 activists who protested and broke into the Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper. These complaints “tend to demonize those who express peaceful dissent in a completely militarized city. And this will again cost thousands of euros in legal fees,” the group wrote in a note.


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