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Flood Strikes Venice Council Moments After It Rejects Climate Change Measures

The Veneto regional council that decides policies for Venice was struck by a flood just minutes after the majority of the council members rejected a plan for tackling climate change, CNN reports.

The ironic twist comes amid the worst floods in Venice for the last fifty years, CNN’s Gianluca Mezzofiore notes in the report, adding that the room in which the council was debating the regional budget for 2020 began to flood two minutes after the right-wing majority rejected amendments to the budget aimed at reducing the city’s carbon footprint.

Among the measures the Veneto regional council rejected, according to Andrea Zanoni, a councilor from the Democratic Party, were replacing diesel buses with more eco-friendly ones, financing renewable energy projects, and reducing the use of plastics in Venice and the region.

"Ironically, the chamber was flooded two minutes after the majority League, Brothers of Italy, and Forza Italia parties rejected our amendments to tackle climate change," Zanoni, who is also deputy chairman of the Veneto environmental committee, wrote on Facebook.

Italy declared a state of emergency for Venice this week because of the floods and allocated 20 million euro ($22 million) to fight the inundation. Today, the water level is expected to reach 1.5 meters amid storms and strong winds.

Meanwhile, the city is considering reviving an 80s plan for a flood barrier that was supposed to protect the tourist city from high tides that flood it. Corruption and cost overruns pushed the breaks on the MOSE project earlier in the 2010s, but most of the barrier equipment has been installed and tests are to begin next year.

If all goes well, the barrier system will enter into operation in 2021 for a total cost of some $7.71 billion (7 billion euro). What “aqua alta”, or the high tide, would do to Venice until then and how much the damage will cost is anyone’s guess.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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