Rail transport plays an important role in in Slovakia, providing 35.6% of the total volume of passenger transport and 19.0% of freight transport in 2017. The main railway corridor, which connects the cities of Bratislava, Žilina and Košice, part of the trans-European TEN-T transport system and Rail Freight Corridor 9 (Eastern Corridor, RFC 9), is currently being modernized with the support from the European financial instruments.
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Disaster risk reduction
91% of Italian municipalities are currently under risk of river and pluvial flooding, an important increase as compared to 2015 when 88% of municipalities were at risk (ISPRA, 2018). These already fragile hydrogeological conditions are worsened by the growing consumption of soil, which occurs more in Northern Italy than in the rest of the country.
A large restoration project started in 2011 in the former saltworks of Salin-de Giraud, located in the southeast of the Rhône delta, within the Camargue Regional Natural Park and the UNESCO‘s Man and Biosphere Reserve. This site represents a vast coastal area of 6,500 ha in the municipalities of Arles and Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer, partially transformed and used for industrial salt production from 1950 to 2008. It was characterised by a strong artificialisation, with seafront dykes and disconnection among different water bodies used as ponds for salt extraction.
The railway transportation system of the Alpine country Austria plays an important role in the European transit of passengers and freights. Moreover, the Austrian railway network is essential for the accessibility of lateral alpine valleys and is thus of crucial importance for their economic and societal welfare. If traffic networks are (temporarily) disrupted, alternative options for transportation are rarely available.
Evidence that increasing temperatures leads to increased mortality and morbidity is well documented, with population vulnerability being location specific. Especially the 2003 heat wave in Europe raised the awareness of negative impacts of heat stress on human health in Austria. Increased incidence of heat waves leads to an increase in heat stress, especially in urban areas; the intensification of the heat-island effect is to be expected.
The city of Antwerp, in order to better understand the problem of heat stress, commissioned the research organization VITO to map the current and future temperatures and thermal comfort in the city. The research results indicate that the urban heat island of Antwerp exacerbates the impact of climate change on the urban population as the amount of heatwave days in the city raises twice as fast as in the rural surroundings. To tackle the problem of heat stress in the city, adaptation measures at three different scales (city-wide, local and the individual citizen) are put forth.
Iceland has 100% renewable electricity and heat system due to its abundant hydro- and geothermal resources. Despite the clear dominance of geothermal resources for house heating, hydropower plays an important role in Iceland’s energy mix, enabling Iceland’s electricity generation to be 100% renewable with 73% coming from hydro; 27% from geothermal and less than 0.01% from wind. The biggest hydroelectric power stations in Iceland are fed by glacial rivers.
Nine UK electricity generating companies have been receiving support based on the provisions of the Climate Change Act of 2008. Specifically, the Joint Environmental Programme (an initiative funded by nine of the leading energy producers in the UK) supports a programme of research focusing on the environmental impacts of these nine leading producers, including Drax Power. The operating subsidiary of the Drax Group plc, Drax Power Limited has 6 boilers with a maximum capacity of 3,945 MW, 3 of which are powered by biomass pellets.
The 19th century industrialisation in Lodz heavily affected the city’s rivers, altering their ecosystems and hydrology. Many rivers in the densely built-up city were canalized. This resulted in a higher flood risk from runoff during heavy rain periods. Low water retention also implies reduction of soil moisture during dry spells, contributing to higher temperature and reduced air humidity (urban heat island). Based on climate change projections, it is expected that the intensity of heavy rain periods and higher temperatures will increase and exacerbate these problems.
Fire is the most significant natural threat to forests and wooded areas of the Mediterranean basin. The average annual number of forest fires in the Mediterranean basin, particularly in southern Europe, is close to 50,000 - twice as many as during the 1970s. The natural plant ecosystem of the Mediterranean basin is rich in shrubs and coniferous forests and, thus, particularly susceptible to fire. Meanwhile, summer periods are now warmer, drier and longer and projected changes in the climate suggest increases in the frequency and severity of forest fires.