A continued rise in emission levels from the transport sector presents an ongoing air pollution challenge to Italian policy-makers, particularly in the face of increasing passenger and freight traffic (an increase of 132 percent between 1970 and 1991, which is among the highest found in the industrialized nations). Emissions in the transport sector increased between 12 and 32 percent for various pollutants over the 1980s and have continued to rise in the 1990s. Whatever limited gains have been achieved by existing emissions policies, it is clear that stricter and more comprehensive policies are needed, particularly because current target levels of NOx and VOCs are unlikely to be achieved at current rates of expansion in the transport sector.
The other challenge facing Italy with respect to all environmental policies, including air pollution control, is that of coordination between central, regional and other levels of government. National-level institutions have lacked both the resources and organizational strength to manage this process effectively. In addition to their own weaknesses, central government agencies thus far have had great difficulty in guaranteeing uniform implementation of regulations across regions, reflecting a high degree of subnational government autonomy.
To improve this coordination there is a pressing need for additional monetary resources, stronger enforcement mechanisms, and improved monitoring capabilities at both central and regional levels. This will only be possible to the degree that the regional and local administrative units are strengthened (institutionally and financially) so it is possible for them to fulfill effectively their responsibilities.
Other regions and countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Central America, Chile, China, Colombia, Cuba, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, North America, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, UK, USA, Venezuela