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Time to stop subsidising the most polluting form of transport

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Opinion By Jos Dings - T&E Director
Late last month, the World Trade Organisation told the USA and the EU what it thinks of US subsidies to Boeing (story, page 2). Last June, the WTO delivered a similar verdict on EU subsidies to Airbus. Of course both sides claim that the other’s subsidies are worse – we can’t yet check these claims because the WTO report won’t be published for another few weeks, but it is clear that Airbus received more taxpayer-backed ‘sweet’ loans, while Boeing received more direct subsidies, which are generally recognised as very distorting.

Sowing the seeds of smarter transport policy

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Opinion by Jos Dings - T&E Director
Did we miss something? Last year, the European Commission didn’t propose a single new legislative measure to clean up transport. To be fair, it has been spending most of its time worrying about the future of the Eurozone. As a result, for T&E this was the sort of year where seeds for smarter transport policy were sown. We’re optimistic that next year could bring a decent crop of positive changes.

Solutions to end harmful subsidies in EU Budget revealed in new report

A new report launched today by seven green NGOs proposes concrete solutions to put an end to environmentally harmful subsidies within the EU Budget. In this time of austerity, European taxpayers' money is not delivering what it should, such as public goods and the well-being of Europe's citizens. Our key challenges in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and resource inefficiency need to be prioritised ahead of funding for unnecessary infrastructure projects and the subsidising of intensive agriculture.

End of charging ban comes at cost of congestion charging

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The EU’s ban on member states charging road hauliers for the unpaid costs of lorry journeys looks set to be partially lifted, after a compromise deal was agreed among member states that could lead to a new Eurovignette directive next year. But the cost of the Belgian presidency getting agreement appears to be the retention of important restrictions on how states can charge for the costs of congestion, plus an air pollution loophole for newer lorries that T&E has described as ‘bizarre’.

Transport Ministers approve air and noise pollution charges for lorries

Today, in Luxembourg, European Transport Ministers reached an agreement on revised road charging rules for lorries (the Eurovignette directive). Nina Renshaw, deputy director at Transport & Environment (T&E), welcomed the agreement but also stressed that a number of issues remain.

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