Chapter 3.png
  • EU agrees €7bn budget for greener transport infrastructure

    EU governments and MEPs have agreed to spend €7 billion of the bloc’s transport infrastructure budget on more sustainable projects like electric vehicle re-charging points and upgrades to rail signalling. The projects will need to be co-financed by member states, meaning public spending on green transport infrastructure will be much higher. Transport & Environment (T&E) said that, as EU member states deliberate on a draft strategy to fully decarbonise European transport by 2050, last night’s deal on the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) makes that target more achievable.

    Sam Kenny, freight policy officer at T&E, said: “This agreement helps ensure that the EU budget will aid the decarbonisation of transport and helps member states to meet their climate targets. It should inspire governments to follow suit and ramp up investment in electromobility.”

    National governments and MEPs also agreed to offer 10% additional EU investment for so-called ‘synergy projects’, which connect two or more of the transport, energy, and digital sectors. This would enable projects like smart grids and vehicle-to-grid charging to benefit from EU financing. Some 60% of the total CEF investment package is earmarked for climate projects that span all three sectors (digital, energy and transport).

    However, gas transport projects would still be entitled to climate investment under CEF. This is despite the fact that transport running on fossil gas is as bad for the climate as other fossil fuels, and investing in gas infrastructure would lock Europe into using it for many decades. Negotiators also compromised on airport investment, agreeing that transport connections to airports will be funded but the construction of new airports, or the expansion of existing ones, will not. Flying is responsible for an estimated 4.9% of man-made global warming.

    Sam Kenny concluded: “Overall, this transport infrastructure budget has a lot going for it. But the spending on gas in transport is a mistake. Gas is an imported fossil fuel that will not decarbonise our economy or even bring us close. Yet the EU plans to spend public money on gas transport infrastructure that will lock us in to using it. That investment needs to go into technologies that will actually get us to zero emissions and energy independence.”