We often read that conventional transport is highly responsible for emitting polluting agents in the air, which contribute to climate change. In Winter times, these polluting agents are also emitted by heating systems for buildings and they contribute to climate change too. There are many human activities that contribute to cause climate change, the most famous one is raising cows and subsequently treating their flesh to become steaks. I could go on with examples forever, but let’s limit the discussion to the link between transport and climate change.
In this newsletter you find a piece of news concerning the proposed Euro7 regulation, designed to reduce the impact of vehicles – engines emissions and life (re)cycle of parts – to the Environment. It seems that this more sustainable solution could make vehicles cost from 4 to 10 times more than what the EC estimated. If proved true, this study would certainly trigger some thoughts on whether we are pursuing the right direction.
Now let’s see the problem from the other point of view: climate change versus transport.
Many of you have heard of the terrible floods that affected the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna (Bologna is the capital). In two days it rained the quantity of water that would be acceptable in several weeks or months. This caused a sudden and violent rivers overflowing that destroyed households, fields, SMEs. In practice, a wide portion of the region has seen its economy cancelled in a few hours. Roads were destroyed, rails uprooted, transport suspended for many days.
Other examples in Northern Italy a few days ago reported sudden and violent thunderstorms with hail and strong downburst winds that paralised airports in Turin and Milan with flights diverted to other cities in Italy or France.
All this happened in May, temperatures were not particularly high, but disastrous weather events happened. This tells a lot about climate change, for sure, but it also tells us how fragile is our transport system. On top of strikes more or less planned, the important contingency when travelling is now meteorological conditions that can suddenly change and become unbearable.
When the European Commission and central governments discuss the future of the EU, they should think seriously and deeply about the transport systems in general and in detail to make the systems more resilient to be able to cope with these events that have become clearly the “new normality”.
As a matter of fact, without robust, efficient and resilient transport there is no economy that can be sustained.
EPN Consulting and EPN Consulting Research and Innovation Founder & CEO