February 2022 Editorial – EPN Consulting Newsletter


Those who regularly read my editorial know that since its beginning in September 2010 I have never discussed political topics. EPN Consulting is a B2B company that provides professional services in Sustainability, Intelligent Mobility and Smart Cities as technical areas and EU-funded project as well as EU Affairs and inter-disciplinary services.

For this reason, I have never wanted to include political comments that could generate just a lot of empty and never-ending discussions. We have been now living a very sad moment with the war in Ukraine, which started when the other war – the Covid-19 pandemic – hasn’t finished yet, despite media don’t talk about it anymore.

In line with my principles, I will not talk about the reasons of this war, but I would like to describe some of the objective effects it has generated.

As usual, sudden changes destabilise the world balance and the war has heightened the gravity of the increase of crude oil prices which exceeded $100/barrel with some analysts forecasting it could reach $200 soon. During the deep lockdown of March/April 2020, the barrel was exchanged at about $30. This means that we are paying fuel 3 to 4 times more than two years ago, falling this into an appalling increase of products (in particular food and vegetables) and energy price that has already impacted families’ quality of life.

This happens also to gas – other fuel used to generate energy and heat our houses. The war caused also the reconsideration of buying gas from providers other than those from Russia and, worse still, caused the reactivation of power stations based on coal. On the one hand, this is good to ensure a continued energy provision but, on the other hand, it is very bad from the environmental point of view.

The results of the discussions carried out for years about looking for cleaner sources of energy (i.e. renewables) could be thwarted as we are in immediate needs of energy and at present there is not enough time for planning and implementing RES (Renewable Energy Sources) based plants.

War explosions, burning vehicles and buildings release harmful substances into the air, which will contribute to frustrate the efforts made so far in trying to change our society to be better prepared to fight climate change.

Last but not least, the no-fly zones set up in these days have forced major airlines, such as British Airways, Iberia and Air France for instance, to cancel their direct services to Asia, making travelling to those countries much more expensive and inconvenient.

It is a pity to see so many good initiatives and efforts made during the last decades running the risk of being wasted.

Hopefully, one of these days will wake up and be able to come back to our normal life. Never has been normality so much appreciated after experiencing two years of Covid-19 disruptions followed by this sudden war.

Stefano Mainero
EPN Consulting Founder & CEO