Scientists say maintaining summer-time is best for economy, environment and mental health

Italian scientists say year-round summer-time will cut energy costs

Environment News

Scientists from the Italian Society of Environmental Medicine (Sima)are calling on the government to extend daylight saving time (summer-time) to the whole year. This would cut energy bills, reduce pollution and improve people’s health, they said.

On Friday, Reuters reported Sima had suggested not changing the clocks. Alessandro Miani, Sima president, said using summer-time all year round would result in an annual saving for Italy of €500 million at current gas prices. It would also cut emissions by 200,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

Like most countries, Italy turns its clocks back by an hour every autumn and puts them forward in the spring. This results in lighter mornings in the winter months and lighter evenings during the summer.

Reuters contacted the Prime Minister Mario Draghi, which declined to comment

The need to save energy is growing in importance. Russia has slashed gas deliveries to Europe since invading Ukraine. Italy’s net energy import costs are set to double this year.

Mental Health Benefits

As well as economic and environmental benefits, not changing the clocks would be beneficial to the mental of health of Italy’s residents.

“In addition, having more light increases the availability of serotonin, which helps the mood, and gives the opportunity of an extra hour outdoors with possible long-term positive effects on health as well,” Miani said.

In 2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of abolishing from 2021 an obligation for European Union member states to change the clocks twice a year. This means EU member countries can choose whether to opt for “solar” or “summer” time.

However, there isn’t a common position from European governments as they await an impact assessment from the European Commission.

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