• Commission backs multi-billion euro loans to car industry

    The European Commission has announced proposals to double taxpayer-backed loans to the car industry through the European Investment Bank (EIB).

    [mailchimp_signup][/mailchimp_signup]The move was announced as EU member states look set to cave-in to carmaker pressure to severely weaken and postpone the entry-into-force of new legally-binding fuel efficiency standards for new cars.

    Meanwhile, in the last few days, Germany and the UK, two of Europe’s largest car markets, have announced that they will cancel planned tax increases on fuel inefficient cars.

    Jos Dings, director of Transport and Environment (T&E) said: “This is a return to the failed policies of the past: old fashioned hand-outs of public money to carmakers. At the same time smart, strategic measures such as emissions-linked car taxation and fuel efficiency standards, that have the potential to transform the direction of the car industry in Europe, are being cancelled or weakened. EU leaders should reject this plan. The message should be loud and clear: not another cent of public money for carmakers until they drop their opposition to fuel efficiency standards.”

    “The Commission has not said how it is going to force carmakers to use this money to go green. And that is a problem because the EIB’s recent track record of car-industry lending includes money for development of new Jaguar and Land Rover models and construction of new car factories.”