In the central square of Stornarella, center of 5 thousand inhabitants of the province of Foggia, there are only the elderly people of the village looking for shade and company, each rigorously equipped with their own chair. For some time, in fact, those who pass through these places meet sooner or later Potito Ruggiero. Today, Potito is 14 years old and has been demonstrating for the climate since the age of 12. With him a sign that says je te surveille (I’m watching you), a sentence addressed to politicians, with a drawing of the Earth represented as a cut cake, hence the words How dare you? (how dare you), the same uttered by Greta Thunberg during hers speech at the United Nations in 2019. A date, September 27, 2019, stands out at the top of the poster, commemorating Fridays for the upcoming Global Climate Strike, supported by more than 7 million people. This day has radically changed society’s sensitivity to climate issues, pushing institutions to create initiatives capable of responding to new environmental and climate challenges. initiatives like, how I want a planet like this, launched byoffice in Italy of the European Parliament.
I want a planet like this
Country I want a planet like this wants to raise citizens’ awareness of environmental issues and encourage the adoption of a sustainable lifestyle. Now in its third edition, it has been able to collect the votes of many people: all contributions are available on the social accounts of the European Parliament in Italy (Twitter, Youtube, Facebook And instagram).
All the messages and stories brought together by the hashtag #vogliounpianetacosì share the idea that acting for climate neutrality means taking responsibility for the planet we live on, but not only that. It is also to imagine a new structure, in which the protection of ecosystems goes hand in hand with the creation of a more sustainable and equitable social and economic context. A context in which everyone can contribute. “We believe that the message of I want a planet like this it must be as transversal as possible, to reach all citizens passionate about the environment,” he told LifeGate Valerie Fiore, who oversaw the campaign. “To do this, we looked for stories and faces that they could reach different people in different contexts. Thanks to the work of the past years, now many people who believe in us are happy to collaborate as volunteers”.
It only took three years for me to want a planet like this to become an important receiver for those in Italy who want to express their support for the ecological transition that awaits Europe. “The European Parliament has already undertaken a networking campaign with all the realities that seek us. In recent years, it is especially the youngest and the associations to which they belong who have come into contact with us. We hosted them on social networks and organized dialogues between young people and European parliamentarians. It is important to watch them because they are the citizens of tomorrowconcludes Fiore.
A mosaic of faces to raise environmental awareness
Potito is just one of the many stories of participation, courage and civil awareness that we have read over the years. With this mosaic of faces, the campaign maintains this essential transversality to disseminate good practices to all layers of society. So here is Potito’s voice mingling with that of the football world champion Gianluigi Buffonthe first testimony of 2022, which broadcast its message on occasion in the June 5 World Environment Day.
In addition to Buffon, the campaign this year saw the participation of athletes such as the extreme cyclist Omar di Felice. “I’ve always had a strong sensitivity towards the environment and nature,” he told LifeGate. « Practicing ultracycling I started to feel the effects of climate change first hand. For example, compared to the first time I was in Iceland 15 years ago I saw this wonderful country change in an incredible way. Some glaciers have receded visibly to the naked eye, other areas are no longer safe to cross. All of this made me reflect on the usefulness of my public involvement in talk about environmental issues to make my sporting activity a bridge between the scientific world and the public”. The athlete has been married for years sustainable lifestyle based on the use of bicycles and electric cars for commuting, as well as conscious choices during the purchasing phase such as the reduction of meat products in his diet: “Encourage good and correct practices it is undoubtedly a way of approaching the environmental question in a concrete and coherent way. This is why I fully supported the European Parliament’s campaign”, concludes Di Felice.
Besides him, the journalist and radio host also participated Paula Maugerithe swimmer Gregorio Paltrinieri, the comedians PanPers And Max Angionithe singer Ditonellapiaga, the television presenter Massimiliano Ossinisinger David Shorty, and many more. To these are added those who had participated in previous editions, such as Alessandro Gassman, Bianca Balti and Licia Colò. To the role of testimonials was added that of many voluntary associations such as Plastic free and I want a clean world, that deal with the protection of the marine environment and the cleaning of the beaches of Pomezia and Salerno, or innovative entrepreneurial realities such as that of ArabBatin which surprising solutions are tested to eliminate electrical waste in a natural and clean way.
The clarity and resourcefulness of young people
But if the voices of activists and personalities are fundamental to spread a more sustainable model of life, it is also interesting to discover how concrete initiatives are born from such momentum, some of which belong to the Italian production context. It is the tangible sign of this dualism between the ecological transition is it socioeconomicomics which represents the ambitious objective of the European climate and environment project.
In this, the experience of I want a planet has shown that it is above all the initiatives carried out by start-ups that give encouraging signs: “I Young today they have a clear vision. They take it for granted that if society and the economy don’t change, the planet won’t be able to hold on,” he told LifeGate. Carlo CorazzaHead of the European Parliament Office in Italy.
“Innovative start-ups that emerge will give a big helping hand and will be able to benefit from funding made available by the European Union. At least a third of research and start-up funds are sustainability-related, 37% of Next Generation Eu funds will translate to such projects. When the money goes in that direction there’s a big incentive,” continues Corazza. “If we cultivate the interest of new generations in topics such as renewable energy, decarbonization and technological innovation, we can hope that in time many of today’s problems will find useful recipes in them” .
The sustainable heart of AraBat, Plastic Free and I want a clean world
Among the realities told by I want such a planet there is ArabBat, a startup from Puglia that uses orange peel to recover precious metals from depleted batteries. AraBat’s intuition is surprising, but it takes on even more weight in an international context marked by the crisis in raw materials. By harnessing a particular chemical reaction created by bringing depleted batteries into contact with citrus waste such as orange peel and lemon juice, the Puglia-based company is now able to extract metals such as lithium carbonate, nickel, manganese and cobalt. In addition to recovering materials that would otherwise be thrown away, AraBat provides new tools for the proper disposal of waste from the electronics sector, “which is growing three times faster than the world’s population”, he explains. Raffaele Nacchiero24-year-old management engineer, founder and CEO of the startup.
From the green and innovative company, we then move on to patient and determined volunteering with I want a clean, plastic-free world, and sentinels of maritime environments. From 2019 I want a clean world clean the beaches plastic objects, cigarette butts and other waste. In doing so, he tries to stem the scourge of plastics in the sea which, according to the WWF, reach 110 million tons each year. The same objective underlies Plastic free which, since its founding, has involved nearly 65,000 students in environmental cleanup projects. In collaboration with institutions, it launched the plastic-free Municipality award, dedicated to administrations that have adopted virtuous environmental measures.
Energy and the environment in European Union policies
This year, the debate on environmental policies between the countries of the Union was strongly marked by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Within weeks, the gas shortage and resulting spike in prices forced many governments into action, attempting to reduce their energy dependence on Moscow. The search for new gas supply partners and the measures likely to put an end to the instability of energy prices took up almost all of the debate, partly overshadowing the challenges of the energy transition. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen tried to address this during the usual State of the Union Address will take place on Wednesday, September 14.
Von der Leyen spoke extensively about the war and its consequences for the Union’s energy resources, but at the same time he assured Europe’s ever-increasing commitment to new resource-based energy supply plans. renewables and the creation of new strategic reserves for batteries, chips and rare earths. “It is wrong to oppose the discourse on sustainability to that on energy security“, continues Corazza. “These are two sides of the same coin. Just look at what is contained in the Green Deal and in the new Repower Eu plan. The more Europe works to ensure the security of energy and its market, the more the direction we choose is that of sustainability. It is clear that the dependence on Russia was a mistake. For this reason, it is necessary to invest more in renewable energies, in order to achieve decarbonization goals,” concludes Corazza.
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