Communication Dissonance and Hobbit Environmentalism
Italian prime Minister Meloni’s speech on Monday 7 November at the climate summit in Egypt presents highly problematic dissonances between words and deeds.
By Federica Dossi
A reassuring speech for many, the one from the Italian Prime Minister at COP27. A speech that keeps our Country in line with the policies pursued by the Draghi government and with the EU commitments. Meloni emphasizes the recent strengthening of the capacity to produce renewable energy and the tripling of our country’s financial commitment which, through the Italian Climate Fund, invests in green technologies and adaptation measures in the countries that are most vulnerable to the climate crisis.
Meloni forgets, however, to say that when these measures were proposed during the previous government, her party voted against them. Similarly, while she is committed to mitigation in words, the facts see her giving the green light again to gas drilling in the Adriatic. A dissonance that is amplified even more when the president emphasizes how unfair it is that the countries that have emitted the least, will be hit the hardest by climate chaos. It is a shame that this attention to the weakest is not being reflected in the immigration policies of our country, which for days has been playing tug-of-war with Europe, putting hundreds of lives at risk in the Mediterranean Sea.
Certainly Meloni played her representative role yesterday in an impeccable manner, with a well-written speech and successful diplomatic meetings with several state representatives. However, the commitment to mitigation, adaptation and climate justice with which the president presents herself to the eyes of the world strongly clashes not only with the actual actions taken by her government as mentioned above, but also with the conservative ecology positions she maintains in her propaganda speeches. We heard her announce just a few months ago, in conspiratorial tones, at the Spanish Vox forum, that she keeps a distance from that ‘ideological environmentalism’ that wants to harm the economy and people.
Instead, our prime minister espouses a ‘bucolic environmentalism’ that seems straight out of the Hobbit county of Lord of the Rings, stating that ‘the right loves the environment because it loves the land, identity and homeland’. Meloni emphasizes that environmentalism is not a prerogative of the left.
Although it is good to note that even the most conservative right wing can no longer deny the seriousness of the climate crisis, the value of the president’s words can only be measured once they are transformed into action. At that point we can actually understand the true traits of this supposedly conservative approach to environmentalism.