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‘Road to COP26: Celebrating Michigan’s Climate Leadership’ Event

The event, “Road to COP26: Celebrating Michigan’s Climate Leadership”, took place on Wednesday, October 13 in Detroit, at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History with about 100 guests in attendance, organized by this Consulate – jointly with the British Consulate General in Chicago – in advance of the United Nations COP26 Climate Change Summit in Glasgow in November.

In her opening remarks, Consul Baistrocchi underlined the efforts of our Country in favor of achieving the objectives set by the Paris Accords and underlined the results already obtained. She was thus able to present a highly innovative Italy, dedicated to research and development, also in terms of the environment, as well as our world record in including the study of climate change and sustainability in school curricula. This allowed her to highlight the great attention of our Country towards young people and give even more prominence to the Youth4Climate event recently held in Milan. Consul Baistrocchi, therefore, deepened the theme of the environment as a pillar of the Italian Presidency of the G20, of the recent event of the G20 Innovation League and conveyed the statements of our Prime Minister, who in the next G20 Summit in October will reconfirm the promise to contain global warming levels to within 1.5 degrees Celsius, developing long-term strategies that are consistent with this goal, and will lobby for a $ 100 billion investment commitment to support the most vulnerable Countries in the transition to new forms of clean energy. Held in Detroit, the event could only focus on the automotive sector. We were thus able to promote the main role of companies (including Italian ones) and the Michigan government in guiding American action in favor of climate change mitigation through systemic transport innovation. A round table was therefore held comprised of institutional figures, exponents of the private sector and representatives of civil society – in particular from the non-profit sector – in which the efforts and objectives achieved in Michigan were highlighted, especially in the field of energy conversion towards vehicle electrification. Particular attention was paid to the importance of infrastructures, especially car parks and charging stations, which must necessarily be built in tandem with the increase in electric vehicles, private and public, in circulation. The panel included, in particular, the Liesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), as representative of Governor Whitmer, and the representatives of Comau LLC, an Italian industrial automation company, and of Car Studio, a company that presented the Made in Italy mini electric car “Monzetta” to the public for the first time in the United States.

Finally, Consul Baistrocchi expressed satisfaction with how the Italian companies present in Michigan are at the forefront in terms of climate change mitigation policies and issues of sustainability and environmental protection. During the part of the event dedicated to “pledges” she spoke on behalf of Stellantis and presented their strategy aimed at achieving sustainable double-digit operating income margins in the medium term (by the end of 2026). Achieving this goal will make the company a benchmark in terms of profitability in providing electrified mobility to customers on a global basis, with an investment of over 30 billion euros by 2025.

After the round table and the public declarations on initiatives in respect of the environment by exponents of companies, universities, and public bodies present in the public, a convivial event took place during which the guests were able to discuss and enter into collaborations and partnerships.