Ecomondo: EU missions to tackle the greatest challenges of our…

After last year’s suspension of the Ecomondo green tech exhibition in Rimini, this year the popular fair has again attracted many exhibitors and visitors from all over the world. Under strict Covid-19 regulations, attendees were able to dive deep into the world of sustainable waste management, from the latest recycling and sorting machines to innovations in the bioenergy sector to smart digital solutions to streamline waste management. workflow.

A wide program of conferences, workshops and seminars – some also in English language – aimed at presenting all the key factors of the ecological transition and the new national and international trends and scenarios. Although it should be noted that there could have been a few more international events.

During an event presenting the BlueMed initiative for a plastic-free Mediterranean Sigi Gruber, former Head of Marine Resources Unit, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, European Commission (EC) also spoke about the EU missions, a project launched at the end of September. “How to lead and provide solutions to the biggest challenges facing society, these are the goals of this project,” Ms. Gruber said. There are five interconnected missions:

Adaptation to climate change: helping at least 150 European regions and communities to become resilient to climate change by 2030.

Cancer: Improving the lives of more than 3 million people by 2030 through prevention, a cure and for people affected by cancer, including their families, to live longer and better.

Restore our oceans and waters by 2030

100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030

A Soil Deal for Europe: 100 living and beacon laboratories to lead the transition to healthy soils by 2030

Focusing on the mission to restore the health of our oceans and waters, Ms. Gruber pointed out that this is the first time that a project has interconnected the hydrosphere as a whole. The EU will only be able to achieve the goals of the Green Deal if the health of the ocean is restored. Waters are major carbon sinks. They provide biodiversity and economic prosperity. You have to put the blue in the green!”

The objectives of the mission are: to protect at least 10% of the EU maritime area; reduce plastic waste at sea by at least 50%; reduce microplastics discharged into the environment by at least 30% and eliminate GHG emissions from the maritime economy. “These are ambitious goals but they can be achieved.”

EU missions are anchored within Horizon Europe, but also need private funding, said Sigi Gruber: “What is needed is a combination of regional, national, European and private funds – otherwise nothing will be done successfully”.

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