On Saturday 24 May in Turin, Italy, the Piedmont Regional Authority, with the collaboration of the Ministry of Economic Development, the European Fund for Regional Development and Numero Verde (a free information hotline), organized a conference on raising awareness on energy consumption and alternatives to decrease the current impact on the environment.
The conference, held at Palavela, the structure inaugurated in 1961 to celebrate the centenary of the Unity of Italy and also used for the ice-skating competition in the Winter Olympics 2006, saw the Piedmont Regional Authority propose the challenge to become Italy’s ecological motor by achieving three main targets before 2020, the year fixed by the EU: to reduce energy consumption by 20%, to use 20% more energy from renewable resources, and to decrease the emission of greenhouse gases by 20%.
Among the speakers were Mercedes Bresso, president of the Piedmont Regional Authority, Nobel Prize winner (1984) physicist Carlo Rubbia and Carlo Petrini, founder and president of Slow Food International.
After a stimulating and crisp presentation, Carlo Petrini received a standing ovation. He spoke of ‘The four main issues that need to be addressed are nutrition, energy, the impoverishment of natural resources and climate change, which in turn provoke environmental disaster, social injustice and the break-down of social relations. The rupture in the energy cycle is the principle cause behind the current crisis.’
He added ‘At present, the Chinese have moved from consuming 20kg of meat per person to 50kg. In Italy we consume 95kg and in the USA 125kg. The market is not suited to recognizing the collective needs. We are now used to being in competition with each other, when we really should be pushing for cooperation.
‘Modernity is not GMO or nuclear energy. It is education, participation and knowledge.’
The conference was later followed by a free concert from the band Subsonica, in Piazza Vittorio, Turin.
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