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ZWE criticises delay in including waste incineration in EU ETS scope

Photo of the waste to energy plant in Munich, Germany
14.01.2022 − 

The environmental NGO Zero Waste Europe considers the proposal to include waste incineration plants from 2028 in the EU's emission trading system (ETS) a "delaying tactic". "All sectors, including waste incinerators, must bear their climate costs without any further delay,” commented Janek Vahk, the organisation’s climate, energy, and air pollution programme coordinator, in an initial reaction to the draft report drawn up by the EU Parliament's lead rapporteur Peter Liese.

Mr Vahk described waste incineration as "one of the big missing links” in the European Union's ETS. "Once coal is phased out, incineration plants will be by far the most carbon intensive form of power generation in the EU. While the rest of the energy sector decarbonises, there is still no incentive for incinerators to do so, yet there are ways of doing it", the ZWE coordinator said.

Mr Liese’s proposals in their current form also fail to address the competitiveness concerns arising as alternative waste treatment processes such as co-incineration and some types of recycling are already included in the EU ETS’s scope, according to Mr Vahk. In addition, including incineration plants now would "encourage progress in the quality of sorting systems for removing plastics from the mixed waste remaining after separate collection as well as create thousands of jobs", he commented.

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