The second millennium represents the watershed between two substantially different conceptions of life.
One comes from the individual needs of men, and the other comes from a universal and global vision of humanity.
The first concept was born with man and developed with him through an ever greater awareness of his own needs, which have progressed from elementary ones (such as food) to more complex ones(such as entertainment).
This concept, though undergoing a slow and gradual evolution, has, however, remained hinged in a well-defined limit that has been, up until today, that of an egocentric relationship between individual rights and public law. The advent of the post-industrial era, characterized by the globalization process and by environmental emergencies, has produced a series of concrete needs that are increasingly affecting the relationships between responsibility, individual rights and public law.
To give an example which can be readily understood, it is enough to remember that today every single productive activity weighs upon the world’s energy balance, with direct repercussions on the questions of the Kyoto protocol.
This protocol tends to implement a criterion of global self-management for the emission of carbon dioxide and gases responsible for the greenhouse effect in order to reach, in the long term, a balance in which the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere does not change its native composition.
This is why the egocentric vision of one’s own development (and one’s own needs) must necessarily be concentric to a vision in which every single individual (and activity) is organised within this new and great vision i.e. respect for the Kyoto protocol.
It must immediately be made clear that the Kyoto protocol will not be the last act of a sufficiently valid vision for environmental protection. It does, however, represent a first step that, from the definition found in the 1987 Brundtland Report within a UNEP conference to today, at least guarantees a well-defined horizon towards which we can move.
If the Protocol points out to the States that have signed it, and to those we hope will sign in the future, a horizon to be reached at various regular intervals, its fulfilment at a private level remains more complex. This regards its practical enactment by individuals who, through their social behaviour, contribute to the emission/absorption balance of the nation as a whole.
1. The Agro-environmental question
Leaving out everything we know about human activities, we want to analyze a little more closely the questions linked to the agricultural and forest sectors, above all, the repercussions they have on the national and international policies of reference.
We believe in an increasingly congruous vision that not only includes traditional market laws, but a set of references where energy budgets, contributions to emissions/absorption and, obviously, traditional market laws have a single function.
From this point of view the relationship between those having a part of the environment (the agricultural or Forest Company, uncultivated land, parks, gardens, etc.) and public utilities has to be based on objective responsibility.
For example, if up until today European policies (and national ones as well) have produced incentives in relation to the quality of the production, the concept of quality must also include the principle of reference to the Kyoto protocol for every single territorial unit. Whoever holds a part of the environment must receive incentives or disincentives according to whether they contribute negatively or positively to this more complex balance.
A course has been taken that cannot evidently harm private law, as such, but rather the role and relation (both fiscal and in terms of incentives) between the sovereign government and the holder of a part of the environment.
This principle, once calibrated in its concrete application, would have notable repercussions on production policy in the relationship between holder/territorial unit and their market.
Another example which can be immediately understood lies in seeing, also in our country, whole agricultural districts which have been abandoned and at the moment lie in a state of productive and property stagnation.
The norms will also have to face these situations by directing private citizens toward the application of a productive principle which conforms more to the complexity of the general thermodynamic norms to which the Kyoto protocol wants to educate us.
In a Country such as ours, which is scarce in traditional energy forms (oil, carbon fossil, etc.) it is of absolute importance to have the possibility to direct our territory from this renewed production-energy viewpoint which, in addition, conforms to the necessary application of the Kyoto protocol.
2. National political policy
This new vision of the relationship between private law and public need evidently cannot fail to have an effect on the political policy of individual Countries.
It becomes fundamental to have a direct, responsible relationship between the State and the Citizen who holds the territorial unit. It is a relationship that has to address the heart of the question, preferably in fiscal terms (through incentives or disincentives), according to the capacities of these new types of businessmen to contribute positively, negatively or neutrally to the Kyoto Protocol.
This can permit us to understand how in the future the role of every single citizen will increasingly be that of a responsible and direct actor within an energy- production model with efficient thermodynamic outputs.
To this end the energy efficiency of activities within the territorial units has ever greater value. This efficiency coherently follows the principles and rules of the ecosystem and not the criterions of a financial and economic system which have to be completely rewritten.
In any case, in 1997, in Kyoto, Japan, the Conference adopted a protocol that establishes:
The commitment of industrialised Countries to reduce the emission of the principal greenhouse gases by a total of 5.3% with respect to 1990 levels in the period between 2008 and 2012. These gases are: Carbonic Dioxide (CO2), Methane, Nitrous oxide (N20), the Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), Perfluorocarbons (PFC), and Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6).
It has identified the actions which will have to be taken by “Annex I” countries, by industrialised countries and by countries with developing economies, in order to reduce emissions, with particular reference to:
· Promotion of energy efficiency in all sectors;
· Development of renewable sources for the production of energy and innovative technologies for
the reduction of emissions;
· Protection and extension of forests for the absorption of carbon;
· Promotion of sustainable agriculture;
· Limitation and reduction of the emission of methane from garbage tips and from other energy
·Appropriate fiscal measures to discourage the emission of greenhouse gases
In reality, many of the countries that signed the Kyoto agreement still have not approved programmes in which the protocol is applied, weakening the agreement.
In short, the Kyoto protocol makes us understand, if there were still any doubts, that the concept of production, energy, efficiency and pollution, is a single equation in which human models and behaviour can be reconverted. .
In the agro-environmental sector, there are scenarios and courses for policies of support and incentives that will necessarily have to be considered by the European Union
Above all, we want to point out that single member states, on the basis of the Kyoto protocol and of other international agreements, such as the Nice Paper, can enact legislative norms of reference that head in this direction. But here, unfortunately, we enter into a principle of political awareness of the question that struggles to set in because there is scant knowledge of the matter.
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By Dr. For. Maria Giovanna Mangione