Despite fierce resistance by European car manufacturers, the European Parliament’s Environment Committee has supported the decision taken by European Environment Ministers last year to make car manufacturers responsible for all or a significant portion of the cost of recovering and recycling old cars. The provision is a key component of the proposed End-of-Life Vehicles Directive (see related story).

But the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), representing more than 130 environmental organisations in Europe, is worried that the next debate, this time by the whole European Parliament, could see the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive’s ‘polluter pays’ principle undermined.

The EEB has accused the car industry of securing the votes of some MEPs, particularly Christian Democrats and Social Democrats. “It is shocking to see that the influence of the car industry is so strong in the Parliament, that the two largest parties undermine the Environment Ministers’ positions in the Council,” says the EEB.

The EEB wants the Environment Ministers’ support of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive to remain as it is and is worried that Social Democrat MEPs, with the largest single voice in the European Parliament, will succeed in watering it down. “The Social Democrats risk building a bad name as protectors of the environment,” says Chrisitan Hey of EEB.

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