Carlo Petrini: “It’s time to change, let businesses lead by example”

“The horizon is tinged with green, the important thing is that it is not a green facade”. It is a mixture of enthusiasm and disenchantment that emerges from the words of Carlo Petrini, which will be among the protagonists of the Green & Blue Festival. Petrini is the founder of Slow Food, the activist and the gastronome, the sociologist and the writer of books, of which the last, Terrafutura (Giunti and Slow Food Editore), reports his conversations with Pope Francis on “integral ecology” and the fate of the planet.


Green and blue, the colors of the future

This pandemic, for example, Carlo Petrini, what does it teach us?
“We are at the center of three major crises, the economic, the climate and the pandemic, all three unsolved. Where do we start? I believe in the need to build a new humanism, one that renounces the absolute values ​​of competitiveness, profit and any cost, of indiscriminate production “.

What is missing in order to pass from ecological idealism to a virtuous practice of governments?
“We need a qualitative leap, the courage to make radical choices. Let’s look around us: today, despite the push given by Greta to the environmental cause, we find ourselves in a phase of stalemate, and if a competition of positions is not put into action precise policies, we will stay there “.

What struck you most in Pope Francis’ stance on ecology?
“Above all the fact that it didn’t come at the last moment. His encyclical Praised is from May 2015, and was presented in connection with the Paris conference, thus showing that it wants to support the commitments made on that occasion by the governments. They were important commitments, which have been reneged over time, demonstrating that the situation in these five years has worsened instead of improving. The fact that Pope Francis insists on these issues inside and outside the Church is all the more fundamental today, especially if one thinks of the denier impulse given by Trump and Bolsonaro on a global level “.


The Green and blue Festival. The program

Why do you think it is so difficult for businesses and the world of work to adapt to green industrial policies, even when the indicators speak for greater long-term development?
“The paradigm shift is not easy, especially in a phase in which a widespread sensitivity of civil society on environmental issues is taken for granted. However, there is a tendency to embrace the terms of sustainability without then applying it, a sort of greenwashing Companies should give concrete answers to change: tackle the issues of water, CO emissions2, fine dust, waste recycling, soil healthiness … If a real change does not start, made up of precise analyzes and policies, the change will only be a facade “.

How do you think the recovery in consumption, which is much talked about at this stage, coexists with respect for the environment?
“He coexists little, because one of the causes of the environmental disaster is precisely the bulimia of consumption, which has led us to consume excessively and to increase the amount of waste. When it comes to sustainability, we forget that sustain, in English, it is the property of a musical instrument to maintain sound over time after being played. The French translate it with durable, durable. This, essentially, is sustainability, the ability to last, while the logic of consumption predicts that each object is less durable the better “.

There are those who fear that the new green economy will leave behind the weakest sections of society, what do you think?
“No, I think instead it is a liberating economy for these groups. Let’s get ready: as soon as the coverage by the state in support of the effects of the pandemic is over, a scenario of slowdown in turnover and perhaps layoffs opens up. profit remains our unit of measurement, dark times await us. The axis of our socio-economic intervention must instead be shifted to common goods, relational goods, new projects “.

The new generations are the most sensitive to environmental issues, but at the same time the most consumer-oriented: how do you get out of it?
“With a great educational process and a great work of communication. Here, I hope that even a novelty like” Green & Blue “will take on the political weight of this task, and become an opportunity for debate and virtuous development”.


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