Clean transport – URGENT ACTION!

Electric vehicle charging

Strategic session 1:
Climate change mitigation – what can transport do?

Transport activities generate almost a quarter of anthropogenic CO2 emissions in Europe, and under the current trends transport could become the main source of greenhouse gas emissionsin a few years. In fact, it is among the few sectors that have shown a constant increase in CO2emissions over the last decades, in part due to an ever-increasing transport demand for passengers and goods. It is therefore a major challenge to develop new solutions and paradigms to improve transport efficiency and drastically reduce CO2 emissions, while at the same time promote an effective and equitable governance of the complex transport system in order to foster the use of the most efficient transport modes.

New technological options – such as electrification, sustainable fuels, connectivity and automation – represent important opportunities to make transport more efficient, but technologies alone will not be sufficient to achieve a sustainable, accessible and fair transport system. All these new technology trends require a systemic approach bridging across several sectors and transport modes. Digitalization will indeed play a major role in enabling a better governance of the transport system and allowing its smart and efficient integration with other systems, such as energy and land-use systems.

The need to define mechanisms to achieve a climate-driven sustainable interaction between transport demand and supply is also likely to emerge, and users shall play a central role in the process. This system approach will also require the co-operation of all the actors involved in the transport system, with companies adopting a collaborative approach within platforms, together with public actors from different levels including local authorities, which will take a more proactive role in managing mobility of people and goods.

Session organisers: Biagio Ciuffo and Ferenc Pekár, Joint Research Centre of the European Commission

Biagio CiuffoBiagio Ciuffo received a Ph.D. degree in transportation engineering from the Department of Transportation Engineering of the University of Napoli Federico II in 2008. He then held a three-year post-doctoral position at the European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC), Ispra, Italy, working on sustainability assessment of traffic and transport related measures and policies. He is now an official of the European Commission working for the Directorate for Energy, Transport, and Climate of the JRC. In the past years, he has led different projects concerning the analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of different transport policies. He is currently leading the JRC project focusing on the implications of connected and automated vehicles on transport efficiency, emissions and society.

Biagio Ciuffo has published more than 100 scientific reports and papers in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings in transportation engineering. Among the others, he is one of the main authors of the JRC Report on the Future of Road Transport, which analyses the wise implications of a connected, automated, low-carbon and shared mobility. He is also an Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems and serves as a reviewer for the most important journals in the transportation field.

For his research activities on the calibration of traffic simulation models, he was awarded with the 2012 Greenshields Prize from the Transportation Research Board of the US National Academy of Science and with the 2013 Prize of the SimSub Committee of the Transportation Research Board of the US National Academy of Science.

Ferenc PekarFerenc Pekár is a Scientific Project Manager at the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in Ispra, Italy. He obtained his Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Szeged, Hungary in 2003 after which he worked at KPMG in Budapest.

He started his European Commission career in 2005 as a policy officer at the Automotive industry unit of the Enterprise and Industry Directorate-General (DG) in Brussels. He was in charge of pollutant emissions regulations and impact assessments for light- and heavy-duty vehicles (Euro 5 and 6, Euro VI) and drafted the Commission Communication on a European strategy on clean and energy-efficient cars, which set out the future policy direction on promoting sustainable transport technologies. He also wrote the first EU type-approval regulation on hydrogen vehicles and participated in international regulatory negotiations at the United Nations.

In 2010 he moved to the Circular Economy Unit of DG Environment, where he was responsible for sustainable consumption and product policies within the Circular Economy Strategy, ensuring that the ecodesign and energy labelling regulations take into account the environmental performance of products over their life cycle.

He was transferred in 2016 to the JRC, where he is leading the Transport Research and Innovation Monitoring and Information System (TRIMIS) – project at the Sustainable Transport Unit of the JRC. He is the co-author of several scientific publications and articles, focusing on the assessment of transport research and innovation projects, programmes and capacities as well as future transport technologies, including connected and automated transport, electrification and smart mobility solutions.

Strategic session 2:
Cities’ and citizens’ action in reducing environmental impacts of transport

The session focuses on actions and measures to decrease the environmental impact of transport. Key issues include:

  • Emission reduction at local level (quality of air and noise) – techniques pertaining to both exposures; common strategies and possibilities of assessing noise and air pollution in a combined environmental pollutant index.
  • City mobility (new and already available policy options to encourage active transport); public transport (benefits to individuals, communities, the local economy and the environment); accessibility and transport pricing; mobility management (innovative management strategies to transport problems).
  • Water pollution – Impact of motor vehicle operation on water quality; impact of transport infrastructure on water quality (road construction, operation, and maintenance).

Session organiser: Zisis Samaras, ERTRAC, Professor, Head of the Lab of Applied Thermodynamics, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

Zissis SamarasProfessor Samaras’ research work deals primarily with engine and vehicle emissions testing and modelling. He has provided expert advice to a number of organizations and private sector customers, including the European Commission, the European Environment Agency, the World Bank, ACEA, CONCAWE. He coordinated a number of large European projects, including Particulate Characterization, ITS impact on emissions, OBD systems. He is elected Academic Member and Vice Chairman of the European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) on “Energy, Environment and Resources”.

He is the author of more than 300 scientific publications, among them more than 150 in peer-reviewed journals and seven book chapters, which received more than 3500 citations (his author h index is 32). Dr. Samaras has four international patents on topics related with exhaust gas aftertreatment and biofuels. He is the co-founder of two spin-off companies Exothermia SA (active in the field of exhaust aftertreatment) and Emisia SA (in the field of road transport emission inventories).

Strategic session 3:
Adapting to climate change – how to achieve a resilient transport system?

Awareness of the potential impacts of climate change – which include more extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, heavier rainfall or droughts, and its consequences on the European and global economy –are increasing.  For the transport sector, recent extreme weather events have already given a taste of what each transport mode and the transport system as a whole will increasingly have to deal with.

For this reason, the move for the transport sector to adapt and build its resilience to the potential impacts of climate change has also been gaining momentum. The 2013 EU Adaptation Strategy recognises that there will be impacts from climate change to all transport modes, which means action to build resilience will be required. In a recent aviation sector study entitled “European Aviation in 2040 – Challenges of Growth-adapting aviation to a changing climate”, the main effects that stakeholders expect from the physical impacts of climate change include impacts on operations, changes to the costs of operating a business, and loss of or damage to infrastructure and safety.

In addition, disruptions in one part of the system can have a knock-on effect for another part of the system if, for example, runway capacity is temporarily lost at a key hub airport. For ports and inland waterways, identified impacts include changes in hydro-meteorological or oceanographic factors, increases in extreme events, and a combination of the two.  Road transport can expect impacts to the construction, operation and maintenance of road infrastructure. In the rail sector, heavy rain and floods or extreme heat can damage infrastructure and impact operations.

Action taken so far has focused on reducing vulnerabilities, damages and costs. Yet despite growing awareness of this risk, many stakeholders are not yet taking action. However, with proper planning to adapt and build resilience to climate change, opportunities and efficiencies can also be realised. While each transport mode will need to develop its own adaptation plans and actions to respond to its specific needs, the resilience of the overall system including interfaces between modes will require specific actions.

Session organiser: Maria Carbone, European Commission DG Move

Maria CarboneSince January 2014, Maria Carbone has been working in the Research and Innovation Unit in DG MOVE, where she coo-rdinates H2020 research related to gender and the socio-economic aspects of automation. She is also responsible for transport research collaboration with third countries and international organisations, such as ITF, TRB. She is a member of the TRA 2020 Program Committee.

Prior to this, she worked on policy development and implementation in the areas of the digital single market and telecom regulation in DG CNECT. Maria has a BA (Economics) from the University of Waterloo, Canada; an MBA from SDA Bocconi University, Milan; and a Certificate in Project Management in Infrastructure and Engineering technologies from MIT, Boston.