Friends of the Earth Europe believes Cohesion Policy funding should contribute to the phase-out of carbon intensive and environmentally destructive transport. This can happen if the funds are used to support environmentally sound transport modes only. Cohesion Policy investments into carbon intensive transport measures should be phased out completely and only measures that contribute to the de-carbonisation of the transport sector should be promoted.
Railways and public transport have suffered from chronic under-investment in the central and eastern European countries over the past 15 years. Because of this they are less competitive than car and truck transport.
To date central and eastern European country governments have used the vast majority of the EU funds available for transport to develop roads. But trains and urban public transport produce on average three times less CO2 emissions per passenger-kilometre than private cars. In freight, trains cause more than ﬁve times less emissions per tonne-kilometre than trucks.
EU funds, if invested properly, can support the decrease of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector. They can also help reduce other negative environmental impacts, such as biodiversity loss, and noise levels.
EU funds in the post-2013 period should be shifted to carbon-neutral development only in the transport sector. The same is true for the resources of the European Investment Bank as a complementary financing mechanism of the EU.
The basic criteria for deciding a specific project or measure's eligibility for EU funding must include:
Among the types of measures that should be promoted and supported by the Structural and Cohesion Funds are: