A new instrument to fight climate change and air pollution
The European Parliament has just voted on a future EU-wide toll for trucks busses and vans, which will apply the Greens/EFA core demand for a 'polluter-pays' principle that would take into account CO2 emissions and road construction costs. The vast majority of MEPs voted in favour the negotiating mandate with the Council and the European Commission in "trilogues". This legislation is part of the European Strategy for Low-Emission Mobility. The Council has still not adopted its position.
Keith Taylor, Greens/EFA Member of the European Parliament's Committee on Transport, comments:
"This is a welcome new instrument in the fight against climate change and air pollution. By applying the "polluter pays" principle and taking into account the environmental impact of heavy goods vehicles the privileged position of the road sector when compared to rail and other more sustainable modes of transport has finally been called into question. We are now asking EU Member States to follow suit, they can no longer rely on lofty declarations about saving the planet without ambitious and radical actions. As the latest IPCC report showed, the role of the transport sector will be vital to keep global temperature rises under 1.5c."
External costs caused by CO2 emissions are to be included in the EU-wide toll and the charges will be calculated on the basis of distance covered instead of the time taken. The toll should reflect the actual cost of road use.