Constitutional problems and prospects in environmental protection: the case of Italy

A recent revision of Articles 9 and 41 of the Italian Constitution has given explicit constitutional recognition to environmental protection and its relationship with freedom of economic enterprise. By investigating its scope and distinctive traits, the paper explores to what extent this reform can be framed in the anthropocentric vision underlying the Constitution. Accordingly, the constitutional reform is examined in the context of national and supranational case law, including ECtHR’s judgments Cordella and Others on Ilva’s toxic emissions and Di Sarno and Others on waste disposal in the Campania region. From a comparative perspective, the study also seeks to draw a parallel with the relevant foreign jurisprudence, as in the case of the Bundesverfassungsgericht. In view of the current climate change momentum, the analysis ultimately focuses on the issue of striking a balance between the different rights at stake, and attaches constitutional value to the greening phenomenon.