On Wednesday 11 December EUPAVE and MEP Inma Rodríguez-Piñero held a Debate on “Sustainable roads towards 2050 carbon neutrality” at the European Parliament. Wednesday 11 December also marks the day of the Green Deal’s release.
MEP Inma Rodríguez-Piñero has been a Member of the European Parliament since the 2014 European elections. She has since been serving on the Committee on International Trade and as a substitute member on the Committee on Transport and Tourismv. She is also a member of the parliament’s delegation to the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee.
In addition to her committee assignments, Rodríguez-Piñero is a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on Long-Term Investment and Reindustrialization.
Mrs. Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, Member of the European Parliament, and Mr. Stéphane Nicoud, President of EUPAVE, opened the event attended by 36 participants. Mr. Luc Rens, Managing Director of EUPAVE, moderated the event.
The debate was also the occasion to release EUPAVE’s infographic on “Concrete Pavements make roads more sustainable”.
MEP Inma Rodríguez-Piñero highlighted the relevance of the road infrastructure to decarbonize the transport sector. She asked EUPAVE to enlarge the discussion in 2020 with more MEPs since she considers this debate as extremely useful. She was also vocal about the need for EUPAVE to make its voice stronger and her need of more concrete cases and cost elements on the solutions advocated by the association.
Stéphane Nicoud added some words on EUPAVE’s missions and commitment to promote and defend the contribution of concrete to road safety, fuel consumption, traffic jams reduction and sustainable construction.
He reminded the release of the European Green Deal and its proposal adopted by the Commission indicating ambitious targets like the “shifting to smart and safe zero-emission mobility with the future possibility of including road transport emissions in the Emission Trade System to complement existing and future strengthened CO2 emission performance standards for vehicles”.
Koen Coppenholle, chief executive of Cembureau, introduced the cement industry’s “5 C” approach including:
Nicolas Miravalls, chairman of EUPAVE’s WG on Environmental Strategy, gave a presentation on “trends towards sustainability for road construction in Europe”. He reminded the need to accelerate in order to meet the 2050 milestones and the necessity of procurement rules to evolve towards measurement, control, predictability, …
Mohen Ech, head of innovation for mining and roads business at LafargeHolcim presented a “Showcase on Road Carbon impact variations” illustrated with a case study. He concluded his presentation highlighting the importance to switch construction of European highways from flexible to rigid structure to contribute in GWP reduction but also to offer higher resilience to climate change and to severe loading conditions.
Finally, Mr. Iñigo Urresti, Deputy Head of Unit of Unit C1 (Clean Technologies and Products) from DG GROW (European Commission) introduced the “Industrial Policy and Sustainable Built Environment Strategy in the context of the Green Deal”. Mr Urresti stressed that, with the launching of the European Green Deal, the long-life cycle assessment will gain momentum in the EU policy on building and infrastructure including the green public procurement. He recalled that a study on low transport maintenance is underway in his department and encouraged EUPAVE to seize all the opportunities of the green deal.
A Q&A moderated by Luc Rens, Managing Director of EUPAVE followed the presentations before Ms. Inma Rodríguez-Piñero, MEP (S&D) and Mr. Stéphane Nicoud, President of EUPAVE concluded the event.
Stéphane Nicoud highlighted the fact that when policy-makers address the road issues, they tend to forget infrastructure as part of the solution. Thus, most of the measures focus on improving vehicles, “at EUPAVE we believe that infrastructure and pavement are a key lever to achieve green mobility in Europe and that we need more competition between pavement industries within a public procurement that takes a long term view of costs and environmental impacts. We hope the Green Deal will give a big push in this direction”.