The efforts of everyone to fight climate change and global warming can be fully implemented only with the support and the coordination of public administrations. It is really important that public administrators immediately start to deal with the problems related to sustainable energy and energy saving in their actions.

The first thing that public administrators can decide to do is supporting the citizens and the enterprises that decide to change their habits in order to save energy or to use sustainable energy. This can be done in two main ways: the first one Is financing projects and the second one is punishing those who do not respect the rules. In order to deal with this problem, the administrations need to find a way to share the knowledge about the problem and about the most recent and technological solutions and, starting from this information, set rules that have to be respected.

When it comes to financing, administrators firstly need to find a way to support the efforts of normal people that buy a energy-efficient houses or decide to restructure their old house.

This efforts can be:

  • installation of heat pumps for domestic heating

  • double glazing

  • vertical wall insulation

  • replacement of refrigerators and other appliances with more energy saving ones

  • Installation of solar panels

Regarding the last point, we all know that solar panels are very expensive for single buyers, therefore public administrator need to make single buyers cooperate in order to create groups of buyers, especially if they live in the same building, that can better deal with producers to find a lower and more convenient price.

The financing can also regard small and big shops that consume a lot of energy due to the lights they use. In this case, the substitution of lights can save a lot of energy; on the same time a specific regulation regarding the use of lights out of opening periods can be very useful.

From the regulation point of view, the rules regarding the new buildings must take into consideration general criteria related to energy and heat saving.

Public administrator must also learn that their example is important: street lights must be energy saving and solar panels can be settled on the roof of public buildings such as municipality, schools, libraries and so on.

One of the most important aspects of climate change is that related to the pollution coming from cars, public administrators need to find efficient and creative way to support and spread the use of sustainable means of transport, most of all bicycles. The revision of streets and viability must consider the presence of safe and diffused cycle ways and the presence of sharing bicycles that everyone can use for a short time. In the same way, car sharing should be implemented as it promotes a sensitive and parsimonious use of cars.

Last but not least the spread of information related to global warming is fundamental to create a real change in our everyday life. The public administrator need to create places and occasions to inform the population, especially the stakeholders, about the risks of climate change and about the great importance of their efforts. A first step is teaching to children and youngsters: an efficient sensitization in the schools can have a great result. Secondly, a specific training must be prepared for trainers and businesses. A great effort should be also done to convince old people using the recreational centre.

Finally, the financing of serious researches, through universities or private research centers, must not be forgotten as part of the fight against global warming is directly related to advanced technology.

WASTE POLICY


The problem of Urban waste

Municipal waste remain a source of recurring problems, especially for large cities and especially in areas where management has evolved so inadequate compared to the cash generation of the waste. The waste problem is also connected to the behavior of consumers and producers of goods: these may affect the amount of waste produced and the forms in which they are managed. Despite the remarkable intensity of regulations and policies, municipal waste continues to be generated in line with the economic variables, income and consumption, while improvements emerge especially in the management through increased recycling and energy recovery. The roots of the problem are therefore, in large part, economic and social issues, including industrial aspects of a system that presents in terms of sales equal to those of a medium to large sector of the economy. The new 'Framework Directive' Waste 2008/98 redefines priorities and policy guidelines of the waste; it shows that when it sets targets for prevention and 'decoupling' between waste and economic variables we have a better management through a move to a 'recycling society'.An important aspect of municipal waste is the structural variety of shapes and management technologies prevailing in different countries.
Almost all the countries of Northern and Central Europe (excluding Finland and the United Kingdom) have high rates of incineration (energy recovery) and recycling, with very low shares of municipal waste treated in landfills.
Proceeding towards the South and East Europe are found rather high and extremely high percentages treatment in landfills(ex. Poland), and shares very low recoveries of energy and matter. Italy still had (2004) a dominance of the landfill, with a market share higher than the EU25 average, but with a good estimated share of the low percentage of recycling versus energy recovery. The Italian figure was already the result of a remarkable progress occurred in recent years in reducing the landfill in Italy.
This same variety - not only of technologies but also treatment of behavioral patterns in the production and administration of municipal waste - emerges with characters marked inside the big countries, particularly in Italy. The differences, not only between North and South, but also between the same provinces of North and between the provinces of the South, are very obvious and configure the models more or less coherent sub-regional scale also.
legislative framework:
Despite the 'local' variable production and management decisions, the waste system as a whole is governed by a complex set of rules and guidelines that are, first and foremost, at European level.
The most prominent feature is the 'Framework Directive' Waste 2008/98. It replaces the previous Directive 75/442/EEC, and incorporates the Hazardous Waste Directive, repealing Directive oils and reports the definition of waste, on the distinction between energy recovery and disposal , and the definition of money laundering.
The objectives of the Directive are:Prevention of waste, to prevent and reduce environmental impacts; dissociation (decoupling) between economic growth and environmental impacts from waste; approach to a 'Company of recycling '.

The 'Community hierarchy' (Article 4):
1. Prevention is a measures that reduce: a) the amount of waste produced, b) the adverse impacts from waste products on the environment and human health, c) the content of harmful substances in materials and products;
2. Preparation for reuse, namely control operations, cleaning, by which products or components that have become waste are prepared without any other pre reuse;3. Recycling, namely recovery operations through reprocessing to obtain products, materials/substances to be used in the original function or other functions; 4. Other types of recovery, in particular energy;
5. Disposal, in particular landfill.
This scanning priority is relevant because, as we shall see, the greatest results in Europe and Italy are obtained mainly in the development of recovery and recycling rather than prevention.
The evaluation of the effectiveness of environmental policies remains a problem methodologically and empirically complex. Even in the case of waste, the observation of improvements in the variables of production or management, it is not enough, and indeed it can be misleading to assert that a certain policy has been effective. There are indeed important phenomena of co-causation that can explain the changes of variables, and causes of change may not be attributable to the implementation of a policy. Observable changes in certain streams of recycling, such as aluminum or paper, may depend on secondary materials markets, apart from a policy of recycling for these materials. In fact, a growing demand from these industries, for example, motivated by the high prices of primary materials, can lead to divert the flow of materials from landfill to recycling, even in the absence of a policy of landfill and recycling. In addition, the mass balance of the waste, given the possibility of treating the same flow with different technologies (within certain limits), means that a certain policy may depend on other policies to their own results, thus increasing the co-factors of causation into play.

The evaluation of the effectiveness of a policy for landfills, addressed to the flow diversion and improvement of the ambiental impacts, must therefore take into account the points of departure for the entire waste system and other external factors, in particular other policies in place, which may have been, as co-factors of causation, whether favorable or unfavorable to achieving the objectives.
The Directive 2008/98 sets out the principles and objectives of "dissociation" (decoupling, or 'decoupling') between waste generation and evolution of socio-economic variables that determine it. It is a goal of 'efficiency', that is consume the same levels producing less waste and consume more producing weaving volumes of waste, but also of 'environmental efficiency' being directed to a lower overall environmental impact.
The relevant aspect is that, for the first time, the Directive requires Member States to draw up waste prevention programs (by 2013), concentrating on the key environmental impacts and taking into account the whole life cycle of products and materials . Such measures should pursue the objective of decoupling economic growth and the environmental impacts associated with the generation of waste. By the end of 2014, the Commission will define the goals of prevention and decoupling.
The evaluation of the 'decoupling' is likely to be evaluated using econometric techniques, which we applied to the data for the EU in a series of works. The relationship between municipal waste, driver and socio-economic variables that represent the policies, it’s similar to a 'Kuznets curve' for: production of waste, use of the landfill, incineration. The European data of limited quality and coverage, have recycling municipal waste as 'residual', since the mass balance, and it was therefore not modeled.

Problems of recycling economy:
With the goal of getting closer to a 'recycling society', Directive 2008/98 sets recycling targets (Article 11) which provide, by 2020, to recycle at least 50% of paper, metal, plastic and glass of households, and 70% of waste from construction and demolition. Recycling is hierarchically inferior to the prevention discussed so far, and hierarchically superior to the recovery of energy from waste. For the latter, the Directive provides that authorizations are subject to that recovery be effected with high levels of energy efficiency, and that the incineration of solid waste to be classified as recovery of energy only if energy efficiency is greater than u equal to a certain threshold. The recovery of energy from waste is, on the other hand, when stimulated by the EU policies for renewable energy sources (RES), in the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol and the so-called '20-20-20 Strategy' launched in 2007.