San Donato Milanese (Milan), 21 November 2012 – Eni and Legambiente, in collaboration with the Luigi Bocconi University of Milan, are organising the 5th International Conference, “Energythink, the future of the planet, energy scenarios‘, which will be held today, Wednesday 21 November. The conference is dedicated to the challenge of providing universal access to sustainable energy services.

The conference, “Energythink, the future of the planet, energy scenarios‘, sees the renewed collaboration between Eni and Legambiente on important environmental issues. The energy challenges facing us today, and even more so those that will face us tomorrow, are formidable, and include air pollution, the impact on the climate, security of energy supply, and the need to establish new relationships on a global scale.

In the wake of the Energythink convention organised in Venice last March and the Rio+20 United Nations conference, this conference, to be held in the Gobbi Great Hall, will tackle the issue from various perspectives, ranging from technological frontiers to social, environmental and financial concerns. The aim is to encourage reflection on one of the key points of development, and lay the foundations for new initiatives of international and public/private cooperation to support sustainable energy.

The conference will be opened by Andrea Sironi, Rector of the Bocconi University, Sabina Ratti, Sustainability Senior Vice President of Eni, and Rossella Muroni, General Manager of Legambiente, while Andrea Riccardi, Italian Minister for International Cooperation and Integration Policies, will also take part, giving a welcome speech.

Next, Barbara Buchner, General Manager of Climate Policy Initiative Europe, will outline the relationship between climate policies and energy access, followed by George Yaw Obeng, Senior Research Fellow and Director of the Technology Consultancy Centre of Ghana, who will focus on the importance of international partnerships for energy access. Paolo Frankl, Head of the Renewable Energy Division of the International Energy Agency (IEA), will sketch out the technological solutions required to improve access to modern energy services. The morning session will be closed by Vijay Modi, Professor of the Earth Institute at Columbia University, who will describe the experience of the Millennium Villages project, created to support the sustainable development of extremely poor villages through the active involvement and training of local communities, in order to make them promoters and protagonists of their own development.

The afternoon will be devoted entirely to the experience gained by the universities of Milan on the topic of energy access, including Milano Politecnico’s Engineering Without Borders project and Bocconi University’s Green Light for Business project. The conference will then close with the studies and research projects developed by researchers and lecturers, and with the concluding remarks of Pippo Ranci Ortigosa, Professor of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, detailing an Energy Lab study on Africa.

Research requires resources and commitment, not just in terms of financial investments, but above all in terms of people. This is the core of the project, which aims to share with students – the potential energy researchers and professionals of tomorrow – the testimonies of those who, across the globe, are involved in research today. They will hear from those who are setting out possible ways forward, outlining the most demanding issues, the challenges to be tackled and solved, and the job opportunities available within the "green economy".

Italian universities are the ideal place in which to develop this project, as they simultaneously represent a centre for the development of excellence for the researchers of tomorrow, opportunities for the growth in popularity independent science, and forums for discussion and growth of the thought leaders of the future.

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