The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) held its 63rd annual session in Geneva from 30 March to 1 April 2009. Among the topics under discussion was climate change mitigation and adaptation and, speaking on behalf of the commercial vehicle industry was Paolo Monferino, Chief Executive Officer of Iveco SpA.
Monferino highlighted the importance of road transport and the achievements of manufacturers in improving vehicle fuel efficiency in the face of progressively evolving exhaust tail-pipe emission standards. The case for second generation bio-fuels was made, recognising the importance of renewable fuels in a future sustainable transport system. In addition, future trends in terms of the use of hybrid powertrains in commercial vehicle applications was discussed, as was the importance of the non-transport contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the need for these too to be addressed.
Monferino also drew the attention of the participants at the session to the significant barrier posed by the current economic situation to new vehicle product innovations. The importance of the survival of the industry in the light of 2009 vehicle sales figures was stressed and the necessity to restrict new legislative requirements to those truly urgent safety and environmental aspects in order to conserve valuable resources. Monferino made the point that personnel retention during these difficult times was of great importance in order to retain expertise within the manufacturers’ companies and that harmonised provisions should be made to assist manufacturers.