EU approves green state aids in Belgium and UK
The European Commission today cleared Belgium and the UK of providing illegal state aid to firms through financial support schemes for environmental purposes. Belgium gained approval for a scheme whereby electricity distributors are obliged to finance activities promoting green energy. The UK secured an exemption for companies in Northern Ireland from its aggregates levy, which was introduced to discourage virgin aggregates use and promote recycling. The government had cited fears that firms would lose out to competitors in the Republic of Ireland. See Commission press releases on Belgium and the UK.