Italy appoints diplomat Modiano as special envoy for climate change

Skyscrapers are seen amid dense fog and smog in Milan, Italy January 8, 2020. REUTERS/Flavio Lo Scalzo

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MILAN, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Italy has appointed top diplomat Alessandro Modiano as its special envoy for climate change, the Ecological Transition Ministry announced on Saturday, fulfilling a pledge it made last June.

Modiano, 57, will be the point of reference for all external climate change policies, the ministry said.

Italian climate activists had welcomed Rome’s decision to appoint a special envoy following the example set by other countries to appoint high-profile figures to similar roles, such as John Kerry in the United States.

But Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio and Ecological Transition Minister Roberto Cingolani, who had joint responsibility for the appointment, were initially unable to agree on a mutually acceptable figure, delaying the decision until after last year’s crucial G20 meeting and the UN COP26 climate conference in November, which were co-hosted by Italy. Read more

With Modiano’s appointment, “Italy confirms its commitment to combating climate change”, Di Maio said.

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Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Mike Harrison

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