The main multilateral organisations operating in the environment and energy field with which MAECI deals, in cooperation and coordination with the other competent Administrations, are the following:
UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. It is the main international Convention on climate action, with quasi-universal membership (197 Parties: 196 States plus the EU), adopted at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 together with the Convention to Combat Desertification and the Convention on Biodiversity. The objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilise the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that prevents harmful anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Every year the Conference of the Parties (COP), the decision-making body of the UNFCCC, brings together Member States to monitor the implementation of the Convention’s objectives and revise its implementation instruments. Italy and the United Kingdom partnered to organise the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26 – Glasgow 1-12 November 2021) and the related preparatory and side events (Pre-COP and Youth4Climate – Milan 28 September – 2 October 2021).
IEA – International Energy Agency. It was established in 1974 by 17 countries, including Italy, as a semi-autonomous agency of the OECD, following the 1973 oil shock. It has over time evolved its function turning from a consultation forum for consumer countries into a privileged observatory of the world energy market, and finally into a true leading agency in the energy transition towards climate neutrality, which is deemed increasingly necessary to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and avoid the worst consequences of global warming. The IEA has 30 Member States and 8 associate countries (China, India, Brazil, Indonesia, Morocco, Thailand, Singapore and South Africa), accounting for over 70% of global energy consumption.
IRENA – International Renewable Energy Agency. Established in 2009, with Italy among its founders, it is based in Abu Dhabi, and aims to disseminate renewable energy technologies internationally, addressing all aspects necessary to combat climate change and contain temperatures within the Paris Agreement targets. IRENA has rapidly established itself as a relevant global forum, with almost universal membership (165 members) and hundreds of observers and partners (companies, NGOs, State and State-controlled agencies). Since 2019 the Agency had been led by an Italian Director-General, Francesco La Camera. Italy co-chairs the Collaborative Platform on offshore and marine energy and actively participates in the others on hydropower, renewable hydrogen, just and inclusive transition, and systemic integration of renewables.
IEF – International Energy Forum. Established in 1991, and based in Riyadh, it aims to promote cooperation between energy-consuming/importing countries and producing/exporting countries. Mainly thanks to Italy’s action, the IEF (with 70 Member States) is revisiting its nature, placing itself at the heart of the debate on the clean energy transition in the hydrocarbon and related technology sectors.
WEC – World Energy Council. It is a forum whose mission is to promote the sustainable supply and use of energy. Active since 1923, and recognised by the UN, it is now present – with national committees – in about 100 countries and brings together over three thousand companies and organisations operating in the sector, with affiliations in the university and research fields.
2) The Foreign Ministry’s multilateral energy diplomacy also operates in the following initiatives, with a role of impulse, support and collaboration.
SE4ALL – Sustainable Energy for All. It is a UN organization, whose leadership is at the same time Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Universal Energy Access and works to facilitate policies and implement projects to achieve Sustainable Development Goal No. 7 of the 2030 Agenda: access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
CEM – CLEAN ENERGY MINISTERIAL and MI – MISSION INNOVATION. These high-level forums for dialogue and cooperation on technological innovation and energy efficiency, established in 2009 and 2015 respectively, include 25 States and the European Union, which account for approximately 75 per cent of global carbon emissions and for 90 per cent of investment in clean energy. CEM and MI organise a Ministerial Conference once a year, where Italy is represented by the Minister responsible for energy policies (currently the Minister for Ecological Transition). Italy plays a leading role in Mission Innovation in the electrification field.
EMGF – EAST MEDITERRANEAN GAS FORUM – Dialogue forum launched in 2019 and institutionalised as an international regional organisation in March 2021 with headquarters in Cairo, with Italy among its Founding Countries, along with Egypt, Greece, Cyprus, Israel, Jordan and Palestine, joined by France (the United States is an observer). The EMGF aims to systemise the Eastern Mediterranean’s gas resources for their use to the benefit of the Member States and other countries. There is a strong involvement of the industrial sector, through a special Advisory Committee in which the main Italian companies operating in the sector are represented.
SGC – SOUTHERN GAS CORRIDOR ADVISORY COUNCIL- Established in 2014 as a coordination mechanism between the Member States in the Southern Gas Corridor project (Southern Gas Corridor, the set of three infrastructures aimed at transporting gas from Azerbaijan to Europe, completed with the commissioning of TAP). In addition to the European Commission and Azerbaijan, the Advisory Council members include Italy, Albania, Georgia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria, as well as Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia and Montenegro, the latter being interested in connections with Ionian-Adriatic projects. The Advisory Council meets at Ministerial level once a year in Baku.