Support for energy from waste only with separate collection

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EU member states should not grant any financial support to the production of renewable energy produced from waste incineration if separate collection obligations established under the Waste Framework Directive have not been complied with. The members of the European Parliament's Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) voted last week for an amendment to the proposal for the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED III) that would limit the circumstances under which renewables funding could be applied to waste incineration.

ITRE is the committee responsible for the legislative project  in the EU Parliament and the provision is among the measures intended to prevent the energy transition from interfering with the transition to a circular economy.

The committee's report was adopted with a vote of 54 in favour, 14 opposed and 6 abstentions. The plenary vote on the revision of the Renewable Energy Directive is currently scheduled for the Parliament's mid-September meeting in Strasbourg.

For Janek Vähk from the environmental organisation Zero Waste Europe (ZWE), the condition imposed on waste incineration does not go far enough. “Although a step in the right direction, the proposed criterion is a weak qualifier, given that at incineration plants, the 'biodegradable waste' is never combusted without fossil-derived materials present," he said. He argued that under the current system it remained possible for "renewable energy" to be generated while emitting large quantities of fossil-derived CO2. "Incineration plants are already the most carbon intense source of power in some member states,” he said. "We call for the criteria for the use of wastes to be improved so that no support for renewable energy is offered for the combustion of mixed waste"....

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