G7 summit chance for Meloni to make international climate push

This year’s G7 leaders’ summit in Italy, to be held in a secluded luxury resort in the Puglia region on 13-15 June, has been largely sidelined in the country’s public discourse as the focus is firmly on the campaign for the EU elections taking place a week earlier. Still, for prime minister Giorgia Meloni, Italy’s main international event of 2024 could provide the perfect backdrop to boost her leadership credibility by strengthening the G7 climate agenda, says policy analyst Luca Bergamaschi. Climate, for now, appears to have dropped down the list of priorities as geopolitics push issues such as the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza to the forefront. The results of G7 ministerial meetings have been mixed on climate so far, with the headline achievement being an agreed coal power phase-out by the mid-2030s. [Update adds summit programme]

Italy is set to host leaders from the Group of Seven (G7) major democratic economies in a secluded luxury resort in the southeastern Puglia region from 13-15 June. The summit is losing its fight for attention against the EU elections happening only days before, but researchers say it presents prime minister Giorgia Meloni with an opportunity to show leadership on climate.

The official agenda of the summit is largely shaped by geopolitics and technological developments. Conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, China’s growing rivalry with the United States, and artificial intelligence are likely to dominate discussions. Climate is not at the top of the agenda, but instead part of several sessions among leaders. Even Pope Francis, who is usually very vocal on this issue, has been invited to attend a session on AI.

Luca Bergamaschi, founder of the climate and energy think tank Ecco, says Meloni may still push for a more-ambitious-than-expected final G7 statement on climate. “She has invested a lot into international politics to enhance her leadership credibility,” he told Clean Energy Wire. “At COP28 she brought unexpected financial commitments that were seen and appreciated. In Dubai she realised that a climate agenda is a must-have on the international stage and that being ambitious on climate brings her clout, something she craves,” says the researcher.

“I expect her to strengthen the G7 climate agenda, to consolidate and reinvigorate the results of the ministerial meetings, maybe even correcting their shortcomings.”

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Meloni is clearly smart and quick, and she just might be using her “daughter of fascism” signaling simply to leverage her ambitions, and is now shifting to actually getting stuff done.

It’s not like her predecessors of leftist or even merely democratic stripes did much of anything good over decades.

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(yeah yeah, and maybe Santa Claus will bring me a couple of cases of Ridge Monte Bello cabernet sauvignon for Xmas this year…)

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Ah, Meloni. Remember the coverage a year and a half ago? The thread here was titled “Trouble Brewing in Europe”

On top of the war in Ukraine, soaring energy prices and a looming recession, Europe now has to contend with an [Italian far-right coalition government] led by [Giorgia Meloni]’s post-fascist Fratelli d’Italia (Brothers of Italy).

The new coalition government – which consists of Fratelli d’Italia together with two other far-right eurosceptic groups, Matteo Salvini’s nationalist League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia – won more than 44 per cent of the vote, the highest percentage of votes recorded by extreme right-wing parties in Western Europe since 1945.

The big worry in Brussels, however, [is that Italy will fracture the fragile cohesion of the eurozone and force the region into a dangerous replay] of the disastrous debt crisis that played out between 2010 and 2012.

DB2

Meloni did a great eye-roll after shaking hands with Macron at the G7 summit:

She and Macron have a history. From last year:

Last week, for example, President Emmanuel Macron of France excluded Ms. Meloni from a dinner in Paris with Mr. Zelensky of Ukraine and Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, a clear sign that Italy had been knocked down a notch from when Mr. Draghi was in office…

And at home, liberals fear that Ms. Meloni is beginning to show her true, authoritarian face.

DB2

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Well the trouble did not arise. Instead she did a wonderful job of getting Orban to stop holding up Sweden’s joining NATO.

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True that Meloni has been playing (surprisingly) nice on the international stage.

Underneath, she and her more right extreme coalition partners bring state TV ‚in line‘ (nowadays dubbed ‚Tele Meloni‘), and tinker with justice reform, and electoral laws:

Meloni’s current proposal now echoes this Acerbo Law [which aided Mussolini‘s rise to power], as the Italian leader wants to automatically give the party with the highest percentage of votes a 55 percent share of the seats in parliament. In other words, as long as one party receives more votes than any other — even if that were, say, 20 percent of the national vote — it will be rewarded with outright parliamentary control.

No sh*t. Right wing populist parties gained strongly across the continent during the European elections just past. Le Pen‘s gains were such that Macron dissolved parliament and called for new elections in France. The AfD in Germany became strongest force in all of former Eastern Germany, despite their leading candidates apparently receiving funds from Russia and China. Makes one contemplate bringing the wall back up.

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