The pace of climate change in Italy is faster than the rest of the world, according to the country's Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA) in a report presented on 17 July in Rome.
Describing the warming of the global climate system as "indisputable," the 11th annual ISPRA report said "The increase in the average temperature in Italy registered in the last 30 years has almost always been higher than the global mean".
The report found that the average annual temperature rose for the 21st consecutive year in 2012 – the fourth hottest recorded in Italy since 1961. However ISPRA also said that the prolonged economic recession in Italy contributed to a five per cent decrease in the nation's carbon-dioxide emissions in 2012 compared to the year before.
Taking this into account, ISPRA said that with a "limited effort" Italy could meet its emissions commitments under the United Nations' Kyoto Protocol, the international treaty that sets binding obligations on industrialised countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The report identified urban sprawl as a major problem in Italy, stating that an area equivalent in size to Naples is "cemented over" every five months.