Premier Mario Draghi said Friday that the knock-on effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were set to have a major impact on the Italian economy and, with the energy sector a particular concern, it may be necessary to reopen coal-fired power plans to meet the nation’s energy demands.
Reopening coal plants would be a huge setback to Italy’s efforts to cut its greenhouse-gas emissions and do its bit to address the climate crisis.
“Over the last few days the European Union has shown its determination and unity (regarding sanctions on Russia),” he said as he reported to the Lower House on the Ukraine crisis.
“We are ready for even tougher measures if they should not turn out to be sufficient.
“The sanctions that we have approved and those that we may approve in the future, oblige us to consider the impact on our economy with great attention.
“The greatest concern regards the energy section, which has already been hit by price increases in recent months.
“About 45% of the gas that we import comes from Russia, up from 27% 10 years ago.
“It could be necessary to reopen coal plans to cover eventual shortfalls in the immediate term”.
He added that his executive was ready to adopt more measures to soften the impact of soaring energy prices on households and businesses.