Italy makes protecting environment part of Constitution

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Italian parliament approved a law on Tuesday making protection of the environment part of the Constitution in a vote politicians and activists hailed as significant for the country’s future.

The law says the state must safeguard the environment, biodiversity and the ecosystem “in the interest too of future generations”. It said any private economic initiative must not damage health or the environment.

Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani called the bill “an essential step” for Italy, as Rome moves to raise green investments to transform the economy under the European Union’s post-coronavirus pandemic recovery fund.

“I think this is a momentous day,” Cingolani said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what the judicial repercussions of the new law would be.

The Italian branch of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) said it now expected parliament to adapt existing legislation on environmental issues.

“Finally, environment protection has become a fundamental principle of the republic, which future legislation must be inspired by and past legislation adapted to,” Italian WWF president Donatella Bianchi said in a statement.

Reporting by Angelo Amante, editing by Stephen Jewkes and David Gregorio

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