The Veneto regional council, located on Venice’s Grand Canal, was flooded for the first time in history moments after officials rejected a measure aimed at tackling climate change.
Venice has been hit by flooding in recent days due to record tides, leaving parts of the city submerged. Venice’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro, has attributed the flooding to climate change.
The council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace started to flood Tuesday night as council members were debating the 2020 budget, according to CNN.
“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,” Democratic Party councilor Andrea Zanoni, who is deputy chairman of the environment committee, wrote in a Facebook post.
The regional council reportedly rejected amendments that would fund renewable sources, replace diesel buses with “more efficient and less polluting ones,” and remove polluting stoves and reduce the impact of plastics, Zanoni noted.
Zanoni alleged that the rest of the council has done little to address climate change, saying the regional budget presented has “no concrete actions to combat climate change.”
Roberto Ciambetti, the council’s president, rejected Zanoni’s accusation in a statement to CNN.
“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,” read the statement, according to the news outlet.
The rest of the council’s meetings for the week were moved to another location due to the flooding.