· Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Minister for the Environment and Energy Security: “this event is important for accompanying the transition through technology”. Speeches by Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Region; Anna Montini, Rimini Councillor for Ecological Transition, and Maurizio Renzo Ermeti, President of Italian Exhibition Group
· The 13th edition of the States General of the Green Economy also opened
Ecomondo inaugurated its 26th edition this morning with record numbers. In fact, for the first time, it has taken over the entire district after KEY, the spin-off show for renewable energy, was held in March this year. The ecological transition is therefore taking shape and substance at Rimini Expo Centre until Friday 10th November with over 1,500 brands (+10% compared to 2022), occupying all 150,000 square metres of the exhibition centre.
The opening ceremony was attended by Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, Anna Montini, Rimini Councillor for Ecological Transition, and Maurizio Renzo Ermeti, President of Italian Exhibition Group, organiser of the event.
In his introductory speech, Maurizio Renzo Ermeti recalled: «The story of Ecomondo began with the double intuition of two exceptional people: Edo Ronchi, who, as Minister of the Environment in 1997, presented the decree that bears his name and changed the paradigm with which the waste issue had always been approached in Italy. And Lorenzo Cagnoni, our late president, who, in the same year, inaugurated the “Ricicla” trade show, today’s Ecomondo. In his memory, IEG has decided to establish an award for the companies with the highest rate of innovation at the show: the “Lorenzo Cagnoni” Award for Green Innovators.»
Anna Montini, Rimini Councillor for Ecological Transition, continued: «Ecomondo not only welcomes established companies, but also start-ups, which embody a model of innovation that is essential for our progress. This year, the event is further enriched with an area linked to the Blue Economy, a particularly strategic sector for Rimini. A candidate to become Capital of Culture for 2026, our city stands out for its investments in urban regeneration, sewage system renewal, and the qualification of the coastal profile along the seafront. All transformations inspired by the environmental themes and culture that Ecomondo radiates in the area.»
Stefano Bonaccini, President of the Emilia-Romagna Region, explained: «Emilia-Romagna has exceeded 73% separate waste collection, but we must invest even more against land consumption. We are cooperating enormously with Minister Pichetto Fratin: I have been appointed commissioner for the construction of a regasification plant and I guarantee that it will be ready within two years. This is transition, the future is renewable energy: that is why the largest wind farm in Italy will be built in Ravenna.»
Gilberto Pichetto Fratin, Minister for the Environment and Energy Security, concluded: «Climate change is a big challenge that our country is facing by aiming to cut emissions by 55% within 2030. An arduous task because of what is happening globally, but one that must be undertaken for the new generations. These are goals that we must achieve through a new model of consumption and production, which involves many sectors and which sees the government and the production sectors committed to finding an equilibrium between the cost-effectiveness of the intervention and a balance with society. Our challenge is decarbonisation. Starting from the automotive sector, on which we must work to achieve emission neutrality, and going on to construction, on which we must intervene with tax concessions and credits, but also with a national strategy for more efficient buildings, and then the third field, which is modern agriculture. A further challenge is plastics, in which Emilia-Romagna is at the fore. Italy leads Europe in recycling and has demonstrated its ability to turn waste into a new raw material. The challenge of the future will be to recover critical minerals from waste. One example above all: 70% of Italian steel is produced from scrap. That is why this exhibition is important for accompanying the transition through the transformation that can be achieved with technology.»
During the four days of the exhibition, Ecomondo is expecting more than 30 delegations with about 280 delegates from North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, Europe and Eastern Europe. 230 national and international events will take place over the four days of the show, 75 of which with a scientific, economic, technical and scenario focus with the cooperation of the Technical Scientific Committee, together with the event’s main institutional and technical partners.
The 13th edition of the States General of the Green Economy, organised by the National Council for the Green Economy, comprising 68 business organisations, in cooperation with the Ministry for the Environment and Energy Security and the Sustainable Development Foundation, is also underway.
The States General of the Green Economy consists of plenary sessions in the morning and five thematic in-depth sessions. In the opening plenary session, the 2023 Report on the state of the green economy in Italy was presented, which investigates the relationship between the costs and economic benefits of the ecological transition and updates the performance of strategic green issues. Tomorrow’s international session will be on the theme of “Challenges for companies and governments in a changing climate.”