Counter notification by the organization Zero Waste Europe

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Source: Zero Waste Europe

Article „EU Taxonomy – Waste-to-Energy can be sustainable“ (Press Release by ESWET – European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy Technology aisbl; responsible for the content).

Zero Waste Europe would like to bring to notice that this article is based on the false information:

The Taxonomy report published on Monday 9/3 excluded waste to energy incineration from the list of activities considered sustainable. You can see the list of activities in the table of the content. As for the further discussion on the WTE then the Technical Expert Group said that this relates to the incineration of hazardous waste. See below.

See page 209

TEG deliberations on waste-to-energy

On waste incineration with energy recovery (waste-to-energy, WtE) experts’ opinions differed on whether this would be an appropriate environmentally sustainable activity offering a substantial contribution to climate mitigation. On the one hand, there were arguments against the inclusion of WtE. These highlighted the large portion of waste currently incinerated that could be recycled, the reliance of some individual Member States on the incineration of municipal waste, and the risk that further increasing capacities risk overcapacity and could result in lock-in effects.

This would in turn discourage more reuse and recycling, options higher in the waste hierarchy that could deliver higher climate mitigation benefits. On the other hand, it was emphasized that WtE has a role to play even in an increasingly circular economy, as not all residual waste can be reused or recycled (as acknowledged by the EC in its Communication COM(2017)34 on ‘the role of waste-to-energy in the circular economy’, Section 5).

According to the political agreement on the Taxonomy Regulation, any activity leading to a significant increase in the incineration (including WtE) of waste is not considered an eligible activity, as it causes harm to the environmental objective of the circular economy, as per Article 12(d) of the EU Taxonomy regulation, with the exception of the incineration of non-recyclable hazardous waste. This exception was not part of the Commission’s proposal, which considered any significant increase of incineration capacity harmful to the circular economy and hence ineligible. Therefore, the TEG has not included WtE, but recommends bringing this matter for further discussion and consideration to the Platform on Sustainable Finance, in light of the changes in the political agreement text.

Source: Zero Waste Europe