The Ministry for Ecological Transition is a newborn ministry of the Italian government, created in 2021 to transform the production system towards a more sustainable model, making energy production, industrial production and people’s lifestyles less harmful to the environment. Since February 2021 it is chaired by Roberto Cingolani.

The ministry was born on February 2021, it has had a key role in bringing the 5 Stars Movement into Mario Draghi’s government coalition after the fall of the Conte II government. The ministry emerges from the Department for Ecological Transition and Green Investment, which was part of the Ministry for the Environment and Land and Sea Protection led by Sergio Costa.

The ministry’s first task is to manage part of the funds that will arrive in Italy through the Recovery Fund, the European Union’s aid instrument to revive member states after the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to access the funds of the Next Generation EU programme, the national recovery and resilience plan must be in line with the objectives of the European New Green Deal.

The Plan approved by the Conte II government, divided into six ‘missions’, foresees the inclusion of a ‘green revolution and ecological transition’ mission and the protection of this mission would become the main task of the new ministry.

How the Ministry of Ecological Transition works

In proposing a Ministry for Ecological Transition that would bring together the skills of Environment and Development, Beppe Grillo pointed to the example of France, Spain, Switzerland and Costa Rica. Let’s see how this ministry is organized in these countries:

France

The Ministry of Ecology was renamed the Ministry of Ecological Transition in 2020. It is responsible for implementing the government’s policies on sustainable development, the environment and green technologies, energy transition, energy, climate, prevention of natural and technological risks, industrial safety, transport and infrastructure. Since last July, Barbara Pompili, a member of Macron’s party, has been in charge of the department.

Spain

The Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge (Miteco) deals with the fight against climate change, the prevention of contamination, the protection of the natural heritage, biodiversity, forests, the sea, water and the energy transition to a more ecological production and social model, as well as demography and the depopulation of territories. Since 2020, the minister has been Socialist Teresa Ribera Rodriguez.

Switzerland

The Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC) is one of the seven ministries of the Swiss Confederation and is responsible for environmental policy, transport management and development, management and supervision of energy sources and the media, particularly television. It has to ensure that these vital infrastructures are used correctly and that they do not endanger the environment, the safety or the health of citizens. Since January 2019, it has been headed by socialist Simonetta Sommaruga.

Costa Rica

The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) is responsible for policies on environmental protection, sustainable use of natural resources and promoting the use of renewable energy sources to implement the country’s development plan. Its owner is Andrea Meza Murillo.