Veneto regional council in Venice was flooded earlier this week – just minutes after councilors rejected measures aimed at tackling the climate crisis.
According to reports, the city is currently experiencing its worst flooding in 50 years – with water levels peaking at 1.87 meters (6 feet) – something mayor Luigi Brugnaro has described as a ‘direct result of climate change’.
Councilors were debating the 2020 regional budget in Ferro Fini Palace on Tuesday, when water started coming in at around 10pm (Italian time).
Andrea Zanoni, Democratic Party councilor and deputy chairman of the environment committee took to Facebook to discuss the flooding.
He wrote: “Ironically, the room flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy and Forza Italia had rejected our amendments to counter climate change.”
Tackling the climate
According to Zanoni, the amendments included ‘proposed funding for renewable sources, for electric columns, for the replacement of diesel buses with others more efficient and less polluting for the scrapping of stoves, to finance the pacts of mayors for sustainable energy and climate change, and to reduce the impact of plastic, etc’.
He added that all these amendments were being proposed because Veneto regional president Luca Zaia, a member of the far-right League Party, was presenting a budget ‘with no concrete actions to combat climate change’.
Council president Roberto Ciambetti of the League Party denied these accusations in a statement to CNN, saying: “Beyond propaganda and deceptive reading, we are voting (for) a regional budget that spent €965 million over the past three years in the fight against air pollution, smog, which is a determining factor in climate change.
“To say that we do nothing is a lie. We are a region that after the 2010 flood launched a plan to safeguard hydrogeological safety for a total cost of €2.6 billion, an exorbitant amount for regional finances.”