Category Archives: transport

EU-EESC new platform for equal opportunities in transport sector

 

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc and Georges Dassis, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) will be joined by Kadri Simson, Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure of Estonia and Karima Delli, Chair of the Transport Committee of the European Parliament, for the launch of the EU Platform for Change in Brussels. “Only 22% of transport workers are women. There is a huge potential for the sector to improve equal opportunities and I am excited that companies and organisations agree on this and are committing themselves to the increase of female employment. By engaging women and men together towards gender equality we will ensure that our societies will flourish at all levels.” Said Commissioner Bulc.

This initiative aims to increase female employment and equal opportunities in the transport sector. The Platform was developed in cooperation with the European Economic and Social Committee to give transport companies and organisations the possibility to highlight their initiatives for gender equality and to exchange good practices. To show their commitment, organisations dedicated to equal opportunities in transport will sign an official Declaration at the event. The Declaration will also be opened for signature online.

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Commission publishes new Air Quality Index and Atlas

“Air pollution is an invisible killer, so the Air Quality Index is needed to inform European citizens on the state of the air they breathe in their own neighbourhood. We are working with cities, regions, countries and industry to tackle the sources of that pollution, which is a cocktail coming from factories, homes and fields, not only from transport.” Said EU cities. Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

At the Clean Air Forum taking place today in Paris, the Commission launched a new Air Quality Index with the EU Environment Agency, which allows citizens to monitor air quality in real-time. The Commission also published an Air Quality Atlas that maps the origins of fine particulate matter, such as dust, smoke, soot, pollen and soil particles, in Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, responsible for the Joint Research Centre, said: “In order to tackle air pollution we must first understand where it comes from. The Air Quality Atlas produced by the Joint Research Centre provides essential information on pollution sources for the European cities that are struggling with air quality. It will help cities to design air quality plans which focus on their most polluting activities.”

EIB -Volvo EUR 245 million for electric cars

“The Investment Plan for Europe is boosting innovation throughout Europe, and today’s announcement is yet another example. This research and development project by Volvo will push the boundaries of automotive technology in Europe and take us another step closer to a low carbon economy.” Said European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness.

The EIB and Volvo Car Corporation have signed a EUR 245 million loan agreement backing research and development activities in connectivity, efficient petrol hybrid engines, longer-range electric cars and advanced driving assistance systems. The EIB transaction with Volvo Cars was made possible by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), which is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe. It was founded by the EIB Group and the European Commission to boost the competitiveness of the European economy.

“We are happy to support a European car maker in addressing the disruptive technology shifts towards e-mobility and autonomous driving. Volvo Cars’ research and development projects will contribute to making their cars safer, cleaner and greener, which benefits us all,” said EIB Vice-President Alexander Stubb, responsible for EIB operations in Northern European countries.

The automotive industry is facing a number of challenges, as high investments are required in new technologies. At the same time, competition from other players outside the traditional industry is increasing.

The EIB loan will help to finance four research and development projects addressing these challenges. The first concerns the development of new energy-efficient engines and is related to petrol-operated engines only. The second project focuses on active safety systems and functions such as collision avoidance and improved driver assistance features. The third encompasses the development of a new connectivity and infotainment platform, which will introduce a new emergency call feature, and improved navigation. The last project aims at the development and production of a new “Battery Electric Vehicle” by 2019.

The research projects are located in Volvo Cars’ technical centres in Sweden and will be developed for autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicles. The EIB-supported R&D programme will assist Volvo Cars in complying with CO2 requirements and regulations beyond 2020.

EV Energy project, 2nd Regional Stakeholder Meeting

The 2nd Regional Stakeholder Meeting conference of EV Energy project held in Rome the 19th October, 2017.

The European Commission intends to promote the implementation of an integrated European eco-system for batteries, in order to support electromobility and energy storage, by addressing the issue of scarce resources and battery recycling, which will encourage the emergence of new models of circular economy for the automotive industry (Europe on the Move, An agenda for a socially fair transition towards clean, competitive and connected mobility for all, May 31st, 2017, Communication from the EC to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Comittee of the Regions).

Mr Sergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, recently declared as follows: “before thinking that electric vehicles are the solution, we must consider all the life cycle of these vehicles, since when energy is produced from fossil fuels, the emissions of an electric car are equivalent to those of any other type of fuel car” (source: Sole 24 ore magazine, imprese e territori, October 2nd, 2017).

Considering how much air pollution in our cities is so worryingly increasing, precisely because of the emissions of cars, EV Energy project starts from the assumption that the electric car must become the integral replacement of the combustion car, ensuring the advent of Electric Vehicles for City Renewable Energy Supply.

In fact, there are European projects that are perfectly in line with the aforementioned new policies of the European Commission, and strongly believe in technologies in favor of electric mobility, analysing and developing innovative local policies that jointly promote renewable energies, electric mobility and the use of ICT for their integration.

EV Energy is one of these projects, funded under the European Commission’s programme for interregional cooperation Interreg Europe. This project aims to pave the way for a transition from fossil driven energy towards fair priced, decarbonised, clean and integrated resources and mobility systems in urban areas. The project’s total budget is € 1,049,797,00 out of which the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) co-finances 85%.

Through interregional policy learning, the most appropriate policies are transferred to cities, regions and partner countries and implemented subsequently. Identified best practices and policies are further disseminated for the benefit of the widest possible audience. EV Energy project gathers 5 different European regions in its consortium. Partners come from Amsterdam, Barcelona, Kaunas, Rome and Stockholm. Green IT Amsterdam has taken up the role of the coordinating partner.

A lot of questions were addressed by the EV Energy partners  to the audience composed of experts and key stakeholders of Lazio region, during the 2nd Regional Stakeholder Meeting conference that took place in Rome last 19 of October 2017, hosted by EUR S.p.A partner in its facilities, with the support of the other Italian partner, Anci Lazio, the Association of 378 municipalities of the Lazio region.

Such questions were, for example, How can EU regions develop innovative solutions and policies surrounding electric mobility and thereby ensure to be drivers of green growth?

 What role can flexible public-private partnerships involving SMEs, energy providers, suppliers, retailers and public bodies play?

Experts and key stakeholders of Lazio region attending the 2nd Regional Stakeholder Meeting conference of EV Energy included representatives of ENEL S.p.A., GLS Italy, the Mobility Service Agency of the City of Rome (Roma Servizi per la Mobilità), Share’ngo and UMPI.

This second conference took place in a city that has witnessed the recurrence of air pollution, these days, due to the lack of rain for weeks. October in Rome can be so pleasant weather-wise, with the likelihood of sunny days and warm temperatures, that the Romans have a name for it: ottobrata romana.  However, the increasing air pollution due to the traffic congestion in Rome is so much alarming.

Fortunately, the key stakeholders of Rome and Lazio region attending the  EV Energy 2nd conference are brave entrepreneurs who figured out what is the way to go for the future. It is extremely praiseworthy that such small and medium-sized entrepreneurs are increasingly adopting services by using electric cars. Thanks to their courageous vision, new business models are emerging and giving rise to innovative mobility services, including new on-line platforms for freight operations, car or scooter/bike sharing services, etc.

The response of Roma Servizi per la Mobilità was that the Municipal agency of Rome is installing soon EV charging points in several sites of the metropolitan area of Rome.

What emerged from the  EV Energy 2nd conference is, therefore, that the City of Rome and the Lazio region must accelerate the transition towards zero-emission mobility. This is why the region urgently needs a fruitful  collaboration between the public and private sectors as one of the key elements to enhance smart policies when it comes to EVs, IT infrastructure and renewable energy.

Claudio Bordi, European projects Expert

The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK#

“Shared mobility is a smart and innovative emerging model of transportation, with the potential to reduce the number of vehicles on the roads: for example, for each shared car, 15 private cars are off the road. But it’s not only about cars; we are witnessing a real explosion of shared bike systems in cities and towns across the EU. This is important, as we need to ensure that the future of urban mobility is both shared and sustainable.” Said Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc.

The European Commission launch the 16th edition of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK taking place from 16 to 22 September across more than 2000 towns and cities. The objective of the EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK is to promote sustainable urban mobility and this year edition will encourage people to use shared forms of transportation such as bicycle and car sharing under the slogan ‘Sharing gets you further’. Shared mobility solutions can indeed reduce congestion, air pollution and make a significant contribution to the decarbonisation of urban transport, which is responsible for about 23% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. This is essential for Europe to be “the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change” envisioned by President Juncker in the State of the Union. The EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK will include events such as car-free days all across Europe and the second edition of the European day without a road death, which aims at raising awareness on road safety.

EU ETS: new stricter aviation pollution rules

“So far, aviation has been given special treatment, and its pollution is increasing at an alarming rate.Today, EU lawmakers took a welcome step towards levelling the playing field with other modes of transport and signalled that an ineffective international deal will not replace European climate action.” Said Kelsey Perlman, Policy Officer for Aviation at Carbon Market Watch.

The European Parliament adopted its position on aviation’s role under the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). Lawmakers agreed to continue the exclusion of international flights from the EU ETS until 2021 but took steps to ensure that the sector will have to reduce and pay more for its soaring emissions.

Decision makers backed the Parliament’s environment committee position adopted in July.

They voted to continue the exclusion of flights to-and-from Europe while the rules for a global aviation deal adopted last year are being drafted. However, they want to limit the exclusion to January 2021 when the global measure will enter into force.

In another welcome move, the Parliament supported the Commission’s proposal to introduce a declining cap for aviation emissions from 2021 and proposed to increase the share of auctioning from 15% to 50%, earmarking all revenues for financing climate related projects.

The proposed measures are, however, not enough to rein in the sector’s emissions which could grow by 300% over the next 30 years.

Kelsey Perlman concluded:  “To bring aviation in line with the Paris Agreement climate goals, we need a robust carbon price to incentivise efficiency and a shift to more sustainable transport modes. This means full auctioning and an end to subsidies, tax exemptions, and generous state aid.”

Informal negotiations between the EU Member States and the Parliament will start on 25th of September. They must agree on the law by April 2018 when airlines need to surrender allowances to cover their emissions in 2017.

Eurasia high speed railway link between China and EU by 2026

Construction of the Eurasia high speed railway (HSR) connecting Europe to China can be completed by 2026, Russian Railways announced in a presentation to Tass agency.

“The level of shared understanding and the support provided to the project by authorities of both countries enable them to efficiently solve the key technological and organizational issues. We have managed to bring together positions in many areas since our last meeting,” Said Vice President of Russian Railways Alexander Misharin.

The participants of the meeting of the Russian-Chinese work group on high-speed railway cooperation have considered a preliminary technical and economic feasibility study and deemed the project for the construction of the Eurasia high-speed railway link between China and the European Union (EU) promising, Russian Railways.

The project can be financed with participation of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, BRICS New Development Bank, Eurasian Development Bank, Silk Road Fund and Russia-China Investment Fund, according to Russian Railways.

The project also provides for participation of major railway equipment manufacturers and construction companies from Russia, Europe, and China.

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