Italian minister: Environmental activists worse than climate crisis

During his speech, the minister defended the idea that the ecological transition "must be sustainable", otherwise "we do not die of pollution but of starvation". [Shutterstock/DisobeyArt]

“The world is full of radical chic environmentalists and it is full of extremist, ideological environmentalists: they are worse than the climate catastrophe,” Italian Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani told the political training school of former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s party, Italia Viva, on Wednesday.

Cingolani said some environmentalists are part of the problem. “I hope you remain open to a non-ideological confrontation, that you look at the numbers. If you don’t look at the numbers, you risk getting hurt like never before,” the minister said.

During his speech, the minister defended the idea that the ecological transition “must be sustainable,” otherwise “we do not die of pollution but of starvation.”

“We need a transition with decarbonisation and a brake on CO2 production but the process must give society time to adapt to these transformations,” said Cingolani, adding that closing car factories to reduce CO2 from tomorrow would leave “thousands of families on the streets.”

Cingolani has already been at the centre of controversy for reorganising his ministry, which according to some experts, has overshadowed environmental protection, with the Fridays for Future movement accusing him of protecting the interests of big industry.

In his speech on Wednesday, Cingolani also spoke of nuclear energy, the use of which in Italy was banned by two referendums in 1987 and 2011.

“Fourth generation technologies are emerging, without enriched uranium and heavy water,” he said, adding that “there are countries that are investing in this technology which is not yet mature, but close to being mature.” If the “kilos of radioactive waste” become very few at one point, it would be “not to consider this technology,” he added. (Daniele Lettig | EURACTIV.it)

Subscribe to our newsletters

Subscribe