Though still very young, he has already made a name for himself as an authority on environmental issues. Much respected in his field for his knowledge and professionalism, Federico Brocchieri is an expert on climate change and Italy’s representative at the Youth Climate Summit.
Numerous recommendations have been put forward to address what has been recognised – by all but its deniers – as a climate emergency. Varying in substance, some are simply not feasible while others are actually counter-productive. What is clear is that we need to take collective responsibility. And Federico knows the way forward. We spoke to him during the Linkiesta Festival last November where he shared his views on sustainability with representatives of companies committed to addressing the issue.
Federico, we can all do something to protect our climate. In your view, what crucial action can we take right now?
It depends on the degree of action. Internationally, we need to step up our global goal to reduce greenhouse gases and close the gap against the targets set by Science and the Paris Agreement. The latest report by the United Nations Environment Programme (the Emissions Gap Report) has shown that there is a significant gap between the combined effect of the measures put in place by countries and the emission levels necessary to limit the average global temperature increase to “well below 2°” by 2100. On the other hand, locally we need to focus primarily on building resilient cities: an increasing proportion of the world’s population live in large urban areas where, at an international level, we are largely ill-prepared to deal with the affects of climate change.
As individuals, is there something we can do?
Yes, of course. The best and most effective way for each one of us to influence climate policy is to ensure that it becomes a political priority. This is the only way – it is an issue that has to be a priority for every political faction. Party politics should be put aside so that finally there will be a long-term vision.
Do you think we need new regulations or are the existing ones enough?
The rules are already in place: internationally, the Paris Agreement and the steps for its implementation (adopted at the COP24 last December) defined a very clear framework for mitigation, adjustment, financial and technical support and much more besides.
How can we create an effective control system so that everyone (industries among others) follows these regulations?
A very robust framework has been designed for reporting, monitoring and follow-up. It is obviously up to each country’s willingness and ability to honour the mandatory commitments they have undertaken. Greater monitoring will be necessary of those non-governmental players, especially cities and the private sector. Many words are spent about emission reduction strategies and the social and environmental responsibility, but they fail to walk the talk when it comes to installing a system of indicators to measure progress against targets.
So, what should be done?
I believe that to improve matters we need to strengthen capacity-building, especially in small-medium local organisations, and make reporting and monitoring stricter to ensure that results are comparable.