European Commission approves state aid for ‘Green Bus Fund’
The European Commission has today authorised an aid scheme supporting the purchase of low-carbon buses in England. The main objective of the scheme is to reduce the CO2 emissions produced by public buses through the introduction of a ‘Green Bus Fund’.
Buses achieving at least a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared to standard buses are eligible for the aid scheme. The scheme does not provide for any particular technology. The grants will be awarded on the basis of a bidding procedure. Priority will be given to bids requiring the lowest grant per vehicle. The beneficiaries will be bus operators.
A budget of £30 million is to be made available from 2009 to 2011 under the scheme.
The Commission found the scheme compatible with EU state aid rules, and in particular with its latest communication on environmental protection (Community guidelines on state aid for environmental protection, OJ C82, 1.4.2008, p.1.).
EU state aid rules aim to ensure fair competition and a single common market.