To Kill, But Not Pollute

David Cronin, IPS - June 19, 2010.

European Union subsidies earmarked for reducing air travel’s contribution to climate change may help develop deadlier warplanes than those already found in the world’s arsenals, Brussels officials have admitted.


Frank Slijper from the Dutch Campaign Against the Arms Trade said: “It is beyond my comprehension how Israeli arms companies get Brussels money for their research. This really is a very weird situation. As far as I know, IAI does very little civilian business, it is just an arms company. IAI has made a clear and direct contribution in the Middle East against the Palestinians and the Lebanese.”

As well as lowering their emissions of climate-changing gases, Clean Sky’s goals include the introduction of aircraft that consume less fuel and are less noisy. A project of this nature is bound to prove enticing for arms companies, Slijper added. “Mostly, they say it works the other way around: subsidies that go into European military aircraft research have a spin-off effect for civilian aircraft research work. But this could be an example where subsidies for environmental flying ultimately also benefit the military. The more silent aircraft are, the closer they can get to where they can pick their targets to bomb before anyone might notice.”