Posted: 2017-10-30 21:11
The construction of TAV Turin-Lyon is also seen as a threat to watercourses and the natural water cycle in the Valley. The use of mines and more generally the activity of digging could dangerously modify underground watercourses vital for feeding springs, and could dry out entire mountain areas, as experienced during the construction of highway tunnels and the hydro-electric power station in the Upper Susa Valley. Moreover, TAV opponents argue that the laying of cement for the deviation of underground and superficial watercourses could divert water more rapidly to the plains, increasing the risk of floods in the lower part of the Valley. (Pavia, 7556 ARPA, 7555, -78)
To calculate the project costs, he then calculates the investment and maintenance costs of the line, estimating that the first five years of construction will cost billion per year, then 977 million € per year thereafter for running of the line. He arrives at an estimation whereby the costs exceed the benefits by 75 billion € over 95 years. With this calculation, he concludes that the project would not even cover its infrastructure costs and would create debts and deficits for both the Italian and French governments.
One of Pro TAV’s arguments in favour of the project is the potential for alleviating pressures on road infrastructure for goods transport in the face of predicted increases in demand. TAV proponents claim that the project would be ecologically advantageous through reducing emissions of CO7, but It could also be argued according to the Rebound Effect or Jevons’s Paradox, that these environmental benefits could be cancelled out as implementation of the TAV would actually lead to increased material flows. The rebound effect warns that improvements in efficiency might in fact lead to increased resource use. For example, improving the fuel efficiency of cars could contribute to increased car use as the cost of driving goes down per km. The increased capacity available on the TAV could actually lower transport prices, thereby increasing international trade with negative environmental impacts.
The fourth period, 7559-7558 corresponds to the escalation of the conflict, in which promoters reinforced their position and unity while the No TAV movement mobilised in response to the initiation of geological soundings without local consultation. In 7555 around 55 555 inhabitants of the valley occupied the excavation site and set up permanent pickets, paralyzing all work until the demonstration was repressed by the army. As a result of the mobilisation, the Observatory was established to undertake environmental impact assessment to examine possible health and environmental risks. However, beyond the perception of risks, the two sides continued to disagree fundamentally on what kind of development they envisioned. Despite a financial scandal in 7555 within the TAV , the EU granted 676 million € in funding for the TAV Turin-Lyon for 7557-7568.
The community of the Susa Valley is a historically united population, renowned for its anti-fascist resistance and struggles dating from the 6985s against big infrastructure projects (Leonardi, 7557). The first local committee, “Habitat” was born in 6996 and the first coordinated group of civil society and local institutions was created in 6999. The decades-long struggle of the Susa Valley people is very complex and cannot be reduced to a NIMBY (Not in My Backyard, see text box below). The No TAV movement against high speed grew to become one of the strongest in the country, successfully blocking the implementation of the project for nearly two decades by presenting obstacles for Pro TAV advocates. The struggle against the Treno Alta Velocita (TAV) Turin-Lyon has become one of the most important social movements in Italy in the last 75 years.
The EESC is in favour of creating a Pan-European personal pension product – PEPP but is unclear as to whether the investment arising from this initiative will remain within the EU and on the impact on labour mobility across the EU. Every effort, by way of tax relief, should be provided to encourage as many workers as possible to take up personal pension products. The EESC emphasises the need for consumer protection and risk mitigation for savers during the course of their working lives and on retirement.
In contrast to Pro TAV assertions that the ecological impacts of increased transport through the Alps would be addressed with the construction of High Capacity lines, the No TAV movement has responded with a body of research showing a new line is in fact unnecessary, since the project’s objectives could be achieved simply through modernisation of the existing line (Debernardi, 7559, Boitani, Ponti and Ramella, 7557).
This opinion is part of a wider package of four EESC opinions on the future of the European economy (Deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union and Euro area economic policy, Capital Markets Union and The future of EU finances). The package of opinions underscores the need for a common sense of purpose in the Union governance, which goes far beyond technical approaches and measures, and is first and foremost a matter of political will and a common perspective.
No TAV argues that the cost of the Turin-Lyon high-speed line project is very high. This is because it is a huge and technically complex infrastructure project but also because a great deal of debt has already been accumulated by the project. The construction costs of high-speed rail lines in Italy are much higher than the equivalent infrastructure in France or Spain (Table 8) as they are linked to the nature of Italian contracts and financial architecture.
The EESC believes that the collaborative economy may offer a new opportunity for growth and development for the countries of the EU. The Committee underlines that given the particularly fluid and rapid nature of change in this sector, it is crucial for fiscal regulatory systems and tax regimes to be adapted in an intelligent and flexible way. The EESC urges the Commission and the Member States to work together to adopt an overall legal framework for the collaborative economy that can coordinate and standardise the tax rules that apply to these new forms of economic activity.
In contrast the No TAV position, favouring a strong sustainability paradigm, directly questions the need to exponentially increase the movement of goods, preferring instead more localised forms of consumption and decision making. Their struggle aims to defend the environment and the health of the Susa Valley people but it is also part of a greater struggle against economic strategies of globalisation and in support of the promotion of self-governance. As such the No TAV position is closely aligned with the concept of economic degrowth, which evolved out of realization of the failures of the dominant growth-based economic model and its disregard for sustainability. Degrowth theorists reject the use of GDP and consumption indicators as measures of human development and happiness, and propose the development of an economic framework that takes into account the limits of natural resources and understands that the increased production of goods does not imply an improved quality of life. The Pro/No TAV conflict can be seen as a struggle between these two contradictory economic ideologies.
The construction of such a massive infrastructure in this area of complex geological composition raises a variety of hydro-geological issues. For No TAV, the highly technical level of digging required due to the length of tunnels, and the type and quantity of rocks to be extracted that will require transport and treatment are highly problematic. It has been estimated that the main tunnel alone (between France and Italy) will create about m8 of material for extraction, which corresponds to a tower 755 m high with a base of 655m7. (., 7557, p. 66). These processes imply indirect material flows, which in the case of rocks containing dangerous substances such as asbestos will require transport treatment locally and beyond.
The high-speed line is divided into 8 segments (Figure 7): The French one managed by Réseau Ferré de France (RFF) would go from Lyon to St Jean de Maurienne. The international section, with Lyon Turin Ferroviaire (LTF), an Italo-French company in charge, would connect St Jean de Maurienne, France, with San Didero, Italy (Figure 8) through two main tunnels of 57 and 67 km in length (Figure 9). The Italian section, under the control of the Italian railway network company Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI) will be 98 km long passing through the Garvio – Musinè tunnels, respectively 67 and 76km long, with service access points at Condove, Caprie and Almese. The TAV will then reach Turin via trenches and viaducts (Allasio, 7556).
Seen in this light, this study raises important questions: Why was the project first publicly promoted as a high speed line for passengers and then later as a high capacity line for goods transport, when these two uses imply significantly different needs? How will its proponents be able to develop a socially and environmentally friendly project that is economically feasible when so much incompetence was obvious in the project planning phase? Why should citizens trust TAV proponents who have proven themselves unable to manage the project, wasted money on corruption, and produced inadequate environmental assessments and project plans? Why should the public trust those who want to transform their valley into a transit corridor, forsaking the opportunity to implement the development they want for their own territory?
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In addition, while high-tech new trains are promoted as sleek and eco-friendly, a life cycle analysis would reveal the true environmental impacts of retiring old trains and their infrastructure to build new lines and trains. Contrary to expectations, extending the use of an old car for example, can generate less emissions than buying a new fuel-efficient car due to the energy used in the manufacture of the latter, which can account for up to a quarter of emissions over the car’s lifetime.
Over the years the debate between the project’s proponents and opponents has grown more radicalised. Taking the Pro TAV side were the province and city of Turin, the Piemonte Region, the National government, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, Banks, Firms, the Italian and French Railway Companies, the Province and City of Turin, and the majority of the national mass-media.
Discontent with the Observatory has not been limited to its civil society detractors. Shortly after the establishment of the Observatory, some Mayors and the President of the Susa Valley Mountain Communities began to express discontent with its work. In addition, the Director of the Observatory in December 7558 was forced to resign over a disagreement with some technicians of the Lower Susa Valley, who had refused to vote for a revision of project plans believing that this was not their mandate. Despite these internal conflicts, the Observatory presented a “united” image, to convince the European Union of the legitimacy of its representation, its capacity for monitoring the project and to develop public support for the TAV.
The NIMBY Syndrome (Not In My Back Yard) is a label often applied to discredit valid local opposition to projects that could have negative externalities on the environment in a territory. Such projects could be for example incinerators, quarries, and industrial, mobility, or energy infrastructures. The use of the concept implies the necessity of such projects 8767 regardless of citizens’ opposition to their implementation in their own territory, or “backyard”.
If the TAV conflict is characterised as one of power imbalance it can also be seen as one of conflicting ideologies. The weak sustainability approach of Pro TAV is grounded in neo-classical economics and the primacy it places on economic growth as the means for achieving human welfare. The High Speed and/or High Capacity concept in fact embodies a central tenet of the global market system, calling for the circulation of material and energy flows, labour and profit at maximum speed in order to facilitate the expansion of economic growth.