Last Wednesday I participated in a seminar organized by the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change (CMCC, Centro Euro-Mediterraneo sui Cambiamenti Climatici) in Venice. The seminar was titled “A EU ‘Paris consistent’ road transport policy: is it possible and what would it take?” and was held by Jørgen Henningsen, senior adviser on energy and climate change of the European Policy Centre, and, among others, former director of the DG Environment of the European Commission.
Indeed I did not simply attend the seminar. In fact Dr. Henningsen had conceived it more as an interactive workshop rather than a unidirectional lecture, and had asked for some discussants to animate the discussion. Given that I had dealt with transport before the MERCURY project, I was invited to give my contribution in this role, and I was very happy to accept.
At first glance, the topic is not directly related to my Marie Curie project, but actually it is. First of all, road transport plays a very important role in the energy sector, and thus in the climate change perspective. Additionally, it is common belief that the decarbonization of this sector will take place via an extensive electrification fed by low-carbon or no-carbon technologies. This would have huge impacts on the power sector, especially in the system integration perspective, and this aspect is absolutely relevant for my project.
A number of issues emerged during the discussion, but the key insight is that a strong political action is urged so as to implement policies which boost the transition. This aspect, more than technical issues that yet do exist (especially regarding batteries), appears to be the real challenge in the coming years.