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Young people, parents unite for climate 'Giro d'Italia'

Young people, parents unite for climate 'Giro d'Italia'

'Running For Future, Cycling For Peace' to feature 17 stages from Rome to Lecce

ROME, 13 March 2024, 10:20

ANSA English Desk



(By Paul Virgo). As the 'Giro d'Italia' grand tour shows the world each year, cycling is perhaps the best way to admire Italy's stunning natural beauty.
    It is certainly the healthiest and most sustainable, which makes it is a good way to campaign for climate action while having fun and staying in shape too.
    So the Italian sections of the Parents for Future and Fridays For Future networks have teamed up to harness pedal power to raise awareness of the climate crisis with Running For Future, Cycling For Peace, an upcoming cycling event which, like the Giro, is split into stages.
    The 'relay-race' starts in Rome's Piazza del Popolo on May 10 and takes in 17 cities, roughly following the Via Francigena pilgrimage route southwards, ending in Lecce on May 19.
    "We chose a cycling initiative because the bicycle has become a symbol of ecology," Maria Santarossa of Parents for Future Italia told ANSA.
    "It is a clean means of transport, which enables you to stay fit and be in direct contact with nature.
    "We chose a pilgrims' path because we can consider it an emblem of the beauty of nature and it's a way to remind ourselves that we must take care of beauty.
    "We have involved many other movements, associations, committees, and networks because we want people to know that many of us have the same objectives regarding the very serious climate and environmental crisis that is present in everyone's lives, like a stopwatch with the clock ticking".
    Each stage will be used to focus on a specific aspect of the ecological crisis, such as air pollution, urban sprawl and the problems created by intensive livestock farming, while at the same time showing how they are all interconnected.
    Among other things, organizers want to highlight the "institutional indifference" to the climate crisis at all levels of government, promote sustainable transport and tourism, draw attention to the need for more cycle paths, especially in southern Italy, and make a loud appeal for peace around the world.
    "What do we expect to achieve? That attention is paid to our objectives and this is transformed into action by politicians and the government," added Santarossa.
    "We hope that the people we meet will develop greater awareness about the situation regarding the climate and the environment, so we can come together in ever greater numbers to strengthen demands for the right to be healthy, to eat healthily and live in healthy environments".
    It is free to take part in the event, although participants have to cover their own accommodation and food expenses.
    It is the second such event. The first took place in 2021, going from Rome northwards along the Via Francigena to Milan for the PreCOP26 conference that was held there that year.
    It was such a success that it inspired the Polish section of Parents for Future to stage a climate grand tour of its own. "We hope to generate much greater awareness of the need to respect the environment, animals and humans, and for this reason we also make a loud appeal to stop all wars," concluded Santarossa.
    Photo: an image from the start of the 2021 Running For Future event.


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