ESWET welcomes waste-to-energy inclusion in EU rules

ESWET, European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy Technology, welcomes the ENVI (the European parliament’s committee on the environment, public health and food safety) draft report on the revision of the EU ETS (emissions trading scheme) provided that any inclusion of the Waste-to-Energy sector in the ETS is supported by concrete measures to avoid disruption of the waste management chain. 

ESWET supports the report’s call for:

  • An impact assessment to be carried out by the Commission, along with supplementary legislation to prevent increased landfilling and waste exports, as essential conditions to avoid disruption of the waste treatment framework.
  • Increased support in carbon capture technologies, which will allow Waste-to-Energy become carbon neutral and even carbon negative. To this aim, we expect that the access to the Innovation Fund will be ensured before the inclusion of the sector in the EU ETS.
  • A transitional period for the inclusion, which is necessary to ensure that the above prerequisites are in place and the industry will adjust properly.

However, we ask that the future legislative steps will carefully consider the following topics as well:

  • Methane emissions should be included in the EU ETS. This is an urgent matter, as methane is a powerful greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period and thus requires immediate pricing.
  • Offsets of the Waste-to-Energy sector must be taken into consideration: Waste-to-Energy plants already save CO2 emissions by diverting non-recyclable waste from landfills, producing energy and fuels, and recovering secondary raw materials.

“We are happy to see that the report has heard our main arguments, proposing measures to safeguard a level-playing field between the waste treatment options” said Patrick Clerens, ESWET Secretary-General.

“Now, it is important to focus on methane emissions and to empower the polluter-pays principle to minimize waste generation and its impacts on the environment and human health”.