Ecological transition, an Italy with a double face

Ecological transition, an Italy with a double face
Ecological transition, an Italy with a double face

Producing goods and services by reintegrating into ecosystems or economically revaluing (through reuse or recycling) the waste materials of the production process, avoiding that they become waste. It is the philosophy behind thecircular economy, a theme brought to the fore by the pandemic, which has relaunched the debate on sustainability and on the need to safeguard the health of the planet. Not surprisingly, within the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr) 69.8 billion will be allocated to projects related to the ecological transition and sustainable environmental development in our country.

It is precisely on these now strategic challenges that he focuses Circonomia, the festival of the circular economy and energy of the territories which for its sixth edition is presented with a two-stage format: Circonomia Digitale, in progress with weekly online appointments until the end of July, and Circonomia Live, to be held from 15 to 18 September in Alba, Piedmont. Organizing the event are Gmi (Greening Marketing Italia), Cooperativa Erica, Aica (International Association for Environmental Communication) and eprcomunicazione, in collaboration with Legambiente, Kyoto Club, Symbola Foundation, with the patronage of the Ministry of Ecological Transition and Rai for the Social.

Roberto Della Seta, artistic director of the festival, explains how “one of our main objectives is to spread the concept of circular economy as a symbol of ecological transition. That is the need to move from a linear economy (which is based on the exploitation of raw materials and the generation of waste, ed.) to a new paradigm, precisely circular, in which there is a tendency to eliminate the production of residues, waste and emissions harmful to the climate, transforming what is commonly considered waste into a resource “. It is, adds Della Seta, “a epochal passage that we are experiencing and which is not always understood in its depth, also involving personal consumption styles “. The event, he adds, also intends to” tell what is actually being done in the territories to encourage this change “. appointments of the event, he continues, “of particular importance will be a meeting scheduled in Alba on 21 June in which four young people from the environmental movement Fridays for future they will discuss with politicians and entrepreneurs on the issues of ecological transition “.

On this front, Italy still presents a scenario of lights and shadows, as evidenced by a dossier that will be presented on the occasion of Circonomia. “The results show that Italy is excellent in Europe for many indicators of the circular economy, while in others we are still behind”, underlines Della Seta. The Peninsula does indeed better than Germany, France and Spain for both recycling rate on the total waste (almost 80%), both for the productivity of raw materials. While for the rate of use of recycled material it is second only to France (18% against 19%), but well above the European average which is less than 12%. At the same time, the study highlights, Italy is discounting one chronic weakness on systemic terrains that are decisive for giving impetus to the ecological transition. The reasons? Little is still being spent on research and development (1.5% of GDP, against 3% in Germany, 2.2% in France, 2% of the European Union average); the share of graduates out of the total of young people is among the lowest in Europe (27.6% among those aged 30-34, 15 points less than the European average). Added to this are insufficient and backward infrastructural networks.

As a consequence, in Italy the aqueducts are leaking on average, due to inadequate maintenance, 40% of all the water flowing through the pipes, while in many cities – from Palermo to Venice, from Lucca to Treviso, from Benevento to Catania – over 20% of wastewater is not purified . Furthermore, almost 90% of internal freight transport in Italy travels by road, against a European average of 15 points lower. With a large dominance of internal combustion engine powered road vehicles petrol or diesel, that is, the type of transport that produces the greatest polluting and climate-changing impact.

Further steps should also be taken in the area of renewable energies, an area in which, explains the report, after years of sustained development, Italy is now struggling. Among the large European countries it is in fact one of the few where photovoltaics grows below 1 GW per year, against 4.8 in Germany, 2.6 in Spain, 2.4 in the Netherlands and 2.2 in Poland. Data that, the study highlights, reveal the need for interventions on several fronts ranging from an increase in railways, especially in the South, to greater infrastructures for electric mobility. In addition to requesting extraordinary and systematic interventions to modernize the aqueduct network, complete the waste water purification network and encourage the development of renewable energies. A scenario, concludes the report, which makes the resources made available by the NRP aprecious opportunity to make up for at least part of these “ecological” deficits, as long as they are used wisely and quickly.

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