The European Parliament (EP) is the only directly elected European Union (EU) institution. Since the introduction of direct elections in 1979, it has used its democratic status to push for general increases in its own powers and to expand and improve EU environmental legislation. Indeed, due to the activities of its Environment Committee, the EP has been identified as an environmental champion (Judge, 1992; Weale et al, 2000, p92). Once derided as a powerless talking shop, today the Parliament is recognized as an equal legislative partner with the Council under the co-decision procedure, which is used for the adoption of most environmental legislation (see Chapter 3). Hence, the EP can no longer be ignored during the legislative process as in earlier days, as it now enjoys the opportunity to initiate and shape EU environmental legislation. The aim of this chapter is to explain the Parliament’s structure and powers, how and why it has come to be regarded as an environmental champion and to explore the future challenges that the institution faces. It is argued that the EP’s Environment Committee has played a key role in advancing the EU’s environmental agenda, and in exploiting and further developing the Parliament’s formal and informal influence. However, there are still some important gaps in the EP’s powers. Furthermore, the 2004 enlargement may disrupt the continuity of purpose and dedication to higher environmental standards that have characterized its behaviour since 1979.