Car firm steps up attack on EU recycling law

General Motors stresses plan's "green contradictions" ahead of key parliamentary vote

The European arm of car manufacturing giant General Motors (GM) has attacked "green contradictions" in the draft EU end-of-life vehicles directive ahead of its crucial second reading vote in the European Parliament next week. Writing in the latest edition of Brussels newspaper European Voice, GM Europe's vice-president of EU affairs Eddy Geysen reiterates the car industry's fears over key aspects of the directive and urges MEPs to support shared responsibility for recycling old cars rather than all responsibility falling on manufacturers.

As agreed by EU environment ministers at first reading, the directive would impose responsibility only on producers (ENDS Daily 22 July 1999), but moves have now emerged in the European Parliament to change the provision to require shared responsibility. These were rebuffed in the parliament's environment committee (ENDS Daily 12 January). However, they could re-emerge in the plenary and have a real chance of passing since there is support for them in both the parliament's biggest groupings, the PES and the EPP.

According to Mr Geysen, Europe's car industry really does face a potential bill of euros 25bn if it alone has to pay for recycling of scrap cars. He acknowledges that the European Commission has questioned industry cost estimates (ENDS Daily 29 November 1999), but stresses that the directive's target of 85% recycling would increase these, while the retroactive nature of the law would impact more heavily on traditional European producers.

Follow Up:
European Voice, tel: +32 2 540 9090. General Motors Europe, tel: +32 2 773 6911.

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