The Director-General of the European Commission’s climate directorate (DG CLIMA) has passed away at the age of 65.
Italian news outlet ANSA reported that Raffaele Mauro Petriccione died suddenly of a heart attack.
“It is with deep sorrow that I learnt of [his] passing … Mauro was a dear, respected colleague,” tweeted Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
“His work earned him respect and friendships in Europe & beyond. My thoughts are with his family & friends in these sad times.”
Petriccione was appointed as head of DG Clima in 2018, replacing Jos Delbeke, and was in overall charge of the service’s work on the Fit for 55 package of climate policy reforms including the EU ETS, as well as acting as the bloc’s head of delegation at the UNFCCC negotiations.
Prior to his tenure at DG Clima, Bari-born Petriccione had worked at the Commission from 1987, rising to deputy director-general at DG Trade from 2014 to 2018.
He was instrumental in negotiating trade deals between the EU and Canada, Japan, and Vietnam.
“He was at the centre of the economic and social revolution of the European Green Deal and of complex negotiations on the ‘Fit for 55’ package,” said Italy’s Undersecretary for European Affairs Enzo Amendola, news outlet Formiche reported.
Europe’s climate commissioner Frans Timmermans described Petriccione as “a true European” who had served the Commission for most of his career.
“All the achievements we have achieved in the last three years bear his fingerprints and I will be eternally grateful to him. And above all, I thank him for his friendship and his sense of humour and his willingness to help,” Timmermans added in a note to colleagues.
By Alessandro Vitelli – firstname.lastname@example.org