During the recent Paris climate talks, exemptions were given to both aviation and shipping from reducing CO2 emissions. Aviation it seems is necessary for climate change missionaries to travel to climate change conferences and shipping is required to ship in the cheap Chinese and Indian goods that can no longer be made here thanks to EU energy policies.
Recently the Competition wing of the Commission ruled in favour of big car manufacturers Porsche, BMW and Audi where Member States had offered them generous State Aid handouts to attract their manufacturing facilities. Of the four cases, only one related to the manufacturing of electric and hybrid cars - BMW. The rest were related to the manufacture of new models of conventional gas guzzlers.
The Member States involved were Spain, Germany and Hungary.
Similar justifications for the aid were given in all the cases :
- The Commission's assessment showed that the aid was necessary for the project to go ahead in Győr (Hungary), as the aid merely compensated the company for extra investment costs incurred by carrying out the project in Győr and not in an alternative location.
- The Commission's assessment showed that the aid was necessary for the project to go ahead in Leipzig and that any effects on competition were limited, because the aid merely compensated for the extra costs incurred by carrying out the project in Leipzig and not in the alternative location.
There are two interesting conclusions that I read from these decisions :
- Is this an acknowledgement that EU energy policies have forced manufacturers to move to alternative locations and therefore will require from now on some form of State Aid as an incentive not to re-locate ? Are precedents being set here not just for the car industry but all industry ?
- Given that State Aid is no longer allowable for coal mines or indeed coal power stations, how can State Aid for the manufacture of oil consuming vehicles (in the larger engine bracket) be justified if burning fossil fuels are now considered evil ?