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20 April 2020
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for people all over the world to stay at home to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). National governments across the globe have responded by imposing new and varied legislation to ensure that this vital advice is taken.
Helping to reduce the number of key workers who travel by bus and train, the Berlin-based bike rental provider ‘Deezer Nextbike’ has been offering bicycles free of charge for the first half-hour of use. This offer applies to multiple loans a day and will be available until 19 April. Virologists have emphasised the effectiveness of riding bicycles instead of using public transport and have stated that it reduces the risk of infection threefold;
The Deputy Public Transport Minister of Greece, Yiannis Kefalogiannis, has announced new measures applying to all public transport – buses, trams, trains, and ferries – lasting until at least 30 May. These measures set a limit on the maximum capacity of vehicles - restricting them to 50% to ensure social distancing rules can be followed. Taxi cabs with up to five seats can now only carry one passenger, although a parent can accompany a minor.
The whole of Romania has been put under quarantine with the military deployed to ensure that quarantine requirements are being adhered to. As a result, the Bucharest subway and bus services have been left almost empty. The state of emergency will continue for another month and for the first time in 30 years, over the Easter weekend, all public transport was closed, including the subway, buses, trolley-buses, and trams.
With a variety of mobility restrictions in different countries, travel data has been used to gain insights into the average daily distances covered by citizens. CEO of OnAudience.com, Maciek Sawa, said ‘Political, social and economic changes strongly influence our mobility’ and the data analysed by the company shows a significant decline in movement in France, Spain, and Poland after the WHO officially labelled the outbreak a pandemic. In Italy movement remained high until restrictions were imposed on 7 March. Britain was the last of the studied countries to implement restrictions and falls in movement have only been observed over the last few weeks.
With restrictions on movement in place, Italian environmental association ‘Legambiente’ has taken this opportunity to study solutions to pollution. The Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research published a study showing NO2 concentrations in the Po valley decreasing by 40-50% in just one month. It is expected that greenhouse gas emissions across Italy in the first quarter or 2020 will be 5-7% lower than in the same quarter of 2019. While more time is needed to study the effects on particulate matter levels this information will be crucial in future solutions to climate change.
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07 April 2020
Today is #WorldHealthDay, and more than ever it is important to communicate that Health cooperation in the EU works. It works to fight against COVID-19. Many Interreg, ENI and IPA programmes are there, struggling but joining forces to give responses to a unique health crisis.
Emergency medical services functioning in the cross-border areas linking Poland, Belarus and Ukraine, doctors working on the front line in the French, Spanish and Andorra border, 3D printers producing certain segments of medical equipment and masks, health laboratories cooperating in the Baltic Sea region, testing new products and technologies in real-life contexts, developing sensors to support Covid-19 emergency management. These are only some examples. But there are more.
Examples possible because of Interreg Italy Malta 2014-2020, Interreg IPA CBC Programme Italy/Albania/Montenegro, Interreg Spain France Andorra, Interreg Balkan Med, Interreg Greater Region, Interreg Baltic Sea Region, ENI Poland Belarus Ukraine who finance and supports projects as Mediwarn, Fila, INNOPLATFORM, SANTRANSFOR and COSAN, ProVaHealth, RESCUE … and many more
27 March 2020
Acknowledging the added value of a European mechanism fostering the deployment of alternativ fuels infrastructure, member regions of the Scandria®Alliance wish to see a more coordinated approach across national borders.
On behalf of the Scandria®Alliance working group on clean fuels the Capital Region Berlin-Brandenburg has submitted a common contribution to the the Evaluation of the Directive on the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure (2014/94/EU) known as DAFI.
Headed by Region Skane as leader and the Eastern Norway County as co-leader of the Scandria®Alliance working group on clean fuels the member regions strongly underlined the relevance and appropriateness of the DAFI, pointing at some challenges, seen by the Scandria®Alliance:
16 March 2020
A number of shipping lines from across the region has put in place restrictions, first and foremost regarding passenger traffic, however, some services have been suspended altogether to limit the spread of the virus.
First, the companies have reported booking cancellations, e.g., Tallink around 20k for the February-April period, mostly of them being passengers from China. Stena Line has noted a drop in group travel bookings from China as regards the company's traffic in the Irish Sea (Chinese clients account for about 50k-100k travellers out of over 7m/year).
Yet, as countries have started to close their borders, ferry lines have acted accordingly. Stena Line's three services - Frederikshavn-Gothenburg, Grenaa-Halmstad, and Gdynia-Karlskrona - are now open to freight traffic only, whereas Frederikshavn-Oslo has been closed for the time being.
Tallink has shut down its Stockholm-Mariehamn-Tallinn cruise traffic. On 14 March, Baltic Queen left the Swedish seaport with Tallinn-staying passengers on-board, where the cruise ferry will be docked, while Victoria I sailed in the opposite direction and will return to the Estonian capital with travellers with single or return tickets; hereafter the ship will remain in Tallinn.
10 March 2020
The report, compiled by Prognos AG constitutes the first substantial market analysis in this field and reveals large differences in spatial distribution of charging infrastructure.
Whereas there is a high density in metropolitan regions, the possibility to charge electric vehicles at public charging stations is very limited in some rural areas, especially in Eastern Germany. Also along highways, there is a shortage in charging stations in Northeast Germany.
The report also compared charging tariffs that differ widely between the different operators and the electric vehicle models. The most expensive operator requires twice to three times as much charging fees than the operator with the cheapest tariffs. Whereas compact electric vehicles consume electricity at a price of 2,20 € / 100 km to 3,30 € / 100 km, middle class electric vehicles do consume electricity at a price of around 7,40 € / 100 km equalling the costs of fuel consumption of a comparable diesel car.