Stop free parking in Commission
Dear Mr. Carl, The signers of this letter believe that the Commission should fight against the practice of subsidising pollution and end the provision of free parking spaces to all staff. In accordance with the polluter pays principle, those who commute to work by car should pay for the parking of their vehicles. The revenues should be used to support environmentally friendly modes of commuting, i.e. public transport and cycling. DG Environment should be the first DG to implement such a practice. Today, if a colleague in the Commission takes the metro or cycles to work he/she has to pay the full costs of the commute. If he/she comes to work by car, the car is kept safe and stored free of charge by the Commission. By taking over some of the costs related to car maintenance, the Commission is paying to ensure that polluters can pollute at a lower cost. These funds go towards ensuring that more people come to work by car and less by public transport or bycicle. This policy is at odds with the Commission\'s policy documents concerning climate change and pollution from transport. According to the Communication on CO2 and Cars: \"car usage has significant impacts on climate change, with about 12% of the overall EU emissions of CO2, coming from the fuel consumed by passenger cars\". According to the Green Paper on UrbanTransport: \"Providing more parking spaces may, in the long term, encourage car transport, in particular if they are free of charge. Parking fees can be used as an economic instrument.\" The Commission needs to practice what it preaches and begin the fight against climate change in its own backyard. This could also be seen as a part of the implementation of EMAS in the Commission. If the Commission wants to follow its own policy prescriptions, it should establish the following rules: o Car users should pay for the parking of their cars, unless the interest of the service or personal conditions (e.g. disability) justify access to free parking. o More polluting cars should pay much more than less polluting cars. The differentiation should be based on each model\"s CO2 emisssions per kilometre. o The revenues raised should be used to support environmentally friendly modes of transportation, i.e. public transport and cycling. We ask you to use your influence within the Commission to argue for an end of the environmentally unsustainable practice of providing free parking spaces in the Commission buildings, thus helping to improve the image of the Commission to the outside world. We ask you to lead by example and implement a new, environmental parking policy in DG ENV first.