- ANDREA ZANONI/via REUTERS
- Venice regional council’s offices on the city’s Grand Canal were flooded for the first time in history just minutes after officials rejected a plan to combat climate change.
- The ancient city has been facing its worst floods in more than 50 years.
- One member posted on Facebook that the floods struck the council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace as councilors were debating the 2020 regional budget, which includes “no concrete actions to combat climate change,” which another member rejected.
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Venice regional council’s offices on the city’s Grand Canal were flooded for the first time in history just minutes after officials rejected a plan to combat climate change.
The ancient city has been facing devastating floods, the worst in more than 50 years, and struck the council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace as councilors were debating the 2020 regional budget, Democratic Party councilor Andrea Zanoni said on Facebook.
“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 wrote, alongside photos of the flooded room.
Zanoni added that the council also rejected measures to fund renewable sources, remove polluting stoves, replace diesel buses for more efficient and less polluting models, and reduce the impact of plastics. The regional budget has “no concrete actions to combat climate change,” Zanoni wrote.
However, Roberto Ciambetti, the council’s president, rejected Zanoni’s claims in a statement to CNN as “propaganda and deceptive reading.”
“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,” the statement reportedly read. “To say that we do nothing is a lie.”
Luigi Brugnaro, Venice’s mayor, wrote that the flooding was due to climate change in a tweet posted Tuesday, and said he will declare a state of calamity on Wednesday, closing nearby schools. In a Facebook post, Brugnaro said the flooding was “a wound that will leave a permanent mark.”
The city’s legendary St. Mark’s Square was filled with tourists wading through water to admire the soaked landmarks, like St. Mark’s Basilica, one of the most ancient and sacred buildings in Italy, which flooded for only the sixth time in its 1,200-year-long history, according to according to the BBC.