The Clean Air Dialogue Italia organised by the Ministry of the Environment at the invitation of the European Commissioner for the Environment, Karmenu Vella, was held in Turin on 4th and 5th June. The aim was to open a bilateral dialogue between Italy and the European Commission to agree on effective solutions to combat air pollution and improve the air quality of our cities.

What is the “Clean Air” protocol?

The first day was inaugurated by the signing of the “clean air” protocol. This is a real pact for action agreed between the Presidency and the Ministries of the Environment, Economy, Economic Development, Infrastructure and Transport, Agricultural policies, Food and Forestry, Tourism, Health, as well as the Regions and Autonomous Provinces. It sets out short and medium-term measures to improve air quality.

Actions that we will undertake

The Plan is divided into 5 areas of intervention, among which we find the one which is of most interest to us: “Civic heating”. The following concrete actions have been identified and must be implemented within 180 days of the protocol coming into force:
  1. The Thermal Account will be updated so that among the requirements for access to incentives (for heat generators powered by biomass, installed to replace less clean appliances) an environmental certification of 4 stars or higher will be necessary;
  2. Appliances benefiting from tax deductions will have to meet the requirements of the Thermal Account (environmental certification of 4 stars or higher);
  3. New incentives will be activated for the replacement of existing biomass fired thermal installations with new biomass fired thermal installations.
  4. The incentives for the replacement of thermal installations fuelled by solid biomass are conditioned by the requirement to use fuels certified in accordance with the reference standards (ISO UNI EN 17225 parts 3, 4 and 5) and ensuring suitable forms of traceability and criteria of the fuel’s environmental sustainability.
  5. Installers and maintenance technicians of systems powered by renewable sources must be qualified and keep up to date by undertaking dedicated and compulsory training courses.
  6. From 2024 onwards, a ban on the use of public and private oil-fuelled heating systems will be introduced. Until that year, the use of oil which meets the required standards for the transport sector (European standard EN590) will be mandatory instead of the standard for heating oil.

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