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More than just a road hangs on the battle for second trans-Alpine tunnel

Switzerland is reassessing its view of trans-Alpine transport, a process that could have repercussions for the whole of Europe. A recent consultation process will lead to a proposal, expected next month, to revise the Swiss Road Transit Traffic Act to allow a second trans-Alpine road tunnel, a move that has alarmed environmental campaigners.

Oil taxes for rail

The Danish government has changed the rules on the country’s oil industry taxation in a way that will mean the state’s income from fossil fuels will increase, and the additional revenue must be spent on reducing fossil-fuel dependence. Specifically, taxes on smaller oil producers will rise, and the money has to be spent on electrifying the country’s rail network.

Commission takes a first step in the right direction for alternative fuels in Europe

Sustainable transport group, Transport & Environment (T&E), today welcomed the Commission proposal mandating that member states build up infrastructure for alternative fuels such as electric charging points for road transport and liquefied natural gas (LNG) refuelling points for ships.

MEPs support sustainability and unsustainability at the same time

MEPs are voting for more sustainability with one hand and unsustainable projects with the other. That is the message from a group of NGOs after MEPs voted to strengthen sustainability safeguards for infrastructure projects that could receive EU funding, but at the same time voted to support certain transport projects that will take Europe further away from its sustainability goals.

Ministers’ call for road funding defies CEF agreement

EU transport ministers have contradicted the Commission’s transport infrastructure funding proposals by calling for some of the money to be diverted to road projects. The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which replaces the fund for the trans-European transport networks (TEN-T), was put forward last year, with one of its main aims to help the EU achieve its target of reducing greenhouse gases by 60% between 1990 and 2050. For that reason, the Commission had proposed to concentrate funding on rail, intermodal and port projects.

Q: When is a rail project not a rail project? A: When it's meant to get people into planes.

The EU should not be funding airport projects, or dressing up airport express train links as green "intermodal hubs" says T&E's deputy director Nina Renshaw.

TEN-T Guidelines and Connecting Europe Facility: Recommendations for sustainable transport spending

This briefing from BirdLife Europe, CEE Bankwatch, Friends of the Earth Europe, T&E and WWF explains how EU transport spending under the Trans-European Transport Networks (TEN-T) and Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) programmes could be made more effective, economically viable and sustainable.A full-length version of this analysis is also available.

Warning on TEN-T package

Motorway

EU transport ministers have discussed revisions to the guidelines that govern spending on trans-European transport networks infrastructure projects (TEN-T, soon to be renamed the Connecting Europe Facility), but T&E says concerns remain about how the money will be spent and how the environmental impact of projects co-funded by EU money is accounted for. The Commission says the TEN-T revisions will promote lower-carbon options such as rail projects, but T&E has warned that projects should be judged on their emissions reduction potential.

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