NGO rejects criticisms of EU scrap car law

EEB claims General Motors' arguments on costs, conflicts with fuel efficiency, "grossly exaggerated"

European environmental NGO coalition, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB) has hit back at criticisms of the draft EU scrap vehicles directive made by car firm General Motors. The dispute reflects rising tension as the European Parliament prepares to debate the controversial dossier next week and, in particular, how widely financial responsibility for scrap cars should be spread.

In a newspaper article, Eddy Geysen of General Motors Europe claimed that the directive would exact too high a cost from manufacturers and would prevent them from optimising fuel consumption (ENDS Daily 24 January).

The EEB has now counter claimed that Mr Geysen grossly exaggerated both the likely cost of recycling old cars and the magnitude of any potential design conflict between better fuel economy and ease of recycling. According to the group, a car recycling scheme in the Netherlands has shown costs of only euros 70 per vehicle, illustrating that "manufacturers need not make extensive reserves".

The EEB also denies Mr Geysen's claim that improving the recyclability of cars might prevent manufacturers from optimising fuel economy. According to the group's Christian Hey there are no significant barriers to making cars both more recyclable and lighter. Based again on Dutch experience, Mr Hey says that a recycling rate of up to 86% is possible with the existing car fleet, while the directive would not require this level to be attained until 2015.

Follow Up:
EEB, tel: +32 2 289 1090.

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