In a historic vote, Italy enshrined environmental protection in its constitution.
On Tuesday, the Italian parliament approved a law which means the state must safeguard ecosystems and biodiversity “for the benefit of future generations”.
Changes to the constitution also mean that health and the environment must be protected by the economy. The new law stipulates that private industry can no longer have an impact on the climate. The protection of animals has also been recognized.
The inclusion of the environment and animals in the Italian constitution has been hailed as important for the country’s future by politicians and activists.
“I think this is a historic day,” Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani said in a statement.
“It is right that the protection of the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems becomes a founding value of our Republic, it is an essential step for a country like Italy which is facing its own ecological transition.”
He adds that this achievement allows Italy to have “well-defined rules” to protect the planet – especially since actions today will have consequences for future generations.
Virginijus Sinkevičius, European Commissioner for the Environment, also called it a “major step”. on Twitter.
Congratulating Italy for this decision, he said that “by choosing to protect the environment, biodiversity and ecosystems through your constitution, you are choosing to protect future generations”.
“Today’s vote is a historic fact,” said Donatella Bianchi, President of WWF Italy.
“Finally, the protection of the environment becomes a fundamental principle of the Republic from which future legislation will have to be inspired and to which past legislation will have to adapt.”
She goes on to say that the constitutional amendment is an “important first step” towards harmonizing the Italian legal system with the environmental principles developed at European and international level.