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EU floats idea of obligatory lorry charges by 2020

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The Commission has proposed ending the right of member states to exempt lorries from paying for infrastructure costs. The suggestion, which came as part of the white paper on transport planning for 2050, could impact on negotiations on the Eurovignette, as it would effectively make the Eurovignette directive obligatory.

Airlines reject the deal of the century

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T&E's Bill Hemmings writes in the Financial Times on behalf of the International Coalition for Sustainable Aviation (ICSA), 13 April 2011:

Sir, Jeff Smisek, chief executive of the newly merged United and Continental Airlines, balks at the thought of paying his share of the estimated €1.1bn cost of the aviation sector joining the European Union’s emissions trading scheme from next year (“United warns EU on carbon rule”, April 4).

Fuel tax decline has cost 350,000 jobs

On the day the European Commission is set to propose an increase in the minimum level of road diesel taxation in Europe (1), a new study shows
that average road fuel taxes in Europe have declined by 10 cents per litre in real terms since 1999.  If taxes had been inflation-corrected and the revenues
used to lower labour taxes, 350,000 jobs would have been saved, oil imports would have been cut by €11 billion, and road transport CO2 emissions would
have been 6% lower, according to the report (2).

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.