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Planet Ark World Environment News Climate Change is Faster in Italy - Minister

Date: 13-Sep-07
Country: ITALY

"The cost of not acting is between 10 and 40 times more than
the cost of acting," the minister, Green party leader Alfonso
Pecoraro Scanio, told a climate change conference.

Citing data from the Stern report -- a UK commissioned study
on the economic impact of climate change -- he estimated damage
from global warming cost Italy around 50 billion euros per year.

"The temperature in Italy is rising four times faster than
in the rest of the world and our country is more exposed than
others to risks of environmental damage and drought," he said.

The average temperature in Italy has increased by 1.4
degrees Celsius (2.5 degrees Fahrenheit) in the last 50 years,
whereas in the whole world the temperature had increased 0.7
degrees in the last 100 years, he said.

He did not specify a source for the data, nor did he explain
why Italy was warming faster than the world as a whole.

Drought problems are spreading north from the country's
south, and Italy's Alpine glaciers have lost half their volume
and 30 percent of their surface in less than a century, Pecoraro
Scanio said.

Huge areas of the country's coast risk being submerged by
rising sea levels and mountain regions are at growing risk from
landslides and floods.

Pecoraro Scanio promised that at the end of the conference
he would present a package of measures to reduce emissions of
greenhouse gases and limit the damage of climate change to
provide Italy with "environment security".

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