The initiative by the EU transport commissioner Siim Kallas to increase the number of recharging and refuelling points for vehicles that run on alternative fuels has run into problems, with several transport ministers refusing to commit to spending the necessary money.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
T&E has called for the EU to adopt a ‘climate rating’ scheme that would assess all transport infrastructure projects for their contribution to climate change before they are given EU funding. The call comes in the run-up to the review of guidelines for the EU to part-fund transport projects, and has involved T&E commissioning a study that provides the outline of a climate rating system.
The city of Madrid may have to remove a motorway as the regional government breached the EU environmental impact assessment and habitats directives in building it.