Italy appoints diplomat Modiano as special envoy for climate change

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

Fog and smog in Milan

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

Italian climate activists had welcomed the decision by Rome to appoint a special envoy following the example set by other countries to appoint prominent 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, had initially been unable to settle on a mutually acceptable figure, delaying the decision until after last year’s crucial G20 meeting and the U.N. COP26 climate conference in November, which were jointly hosted by Italy.

With the appointment of Modiano “Italy confirms its commitment to fight against climate change,” Di Maio said.

(Reporting by Giulio Piovaccari; Editing by Mike Harrison)

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