Irish haulage firms to be hit by European environmental taxes

A recent European Parliament decision that has gone against the wishes of Ireland's Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) could prove costly for Irish firms who regularly transport goods across the continent via road, it has been reported.

New tolls will come into place from 2011 which mean Irish truck drivers transporting goods across the continent could be charged up to 12 cent per km travelled as Europe struggles to battle pollution.

That rate will apply to the vehicles with the highest greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Irish Times.

MEP Jim Higgins voiced his concern over the move, suggesting it treated countries at the edges of the European Union unfairly.

“The report has been controversial from the start,” he told the news provider.

“Ireland has had difficulty with areas such as the proposed legal base, inclusion of congestion charges, the type of roads to be included and the use of electronic tolling.”

The new rules will apply to trucks weighing over 12 tonnes from 2011 and over 3.5 tonnes from the following year.

There has been a renewed emphasis on cutting pollution ahead of the December climate change summit in Copenhagen.

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