October 19, 2020

Joint-statement on the role of Waste-to-Energy in the EU Taxonomy

Nine trade associations across various sectors published a joint-statement to positively consider Waste-to-Energy in the EU Taxonomy. The statement underlines the contribution of Waste-to-Energy towards a sustainable Europe, thanks to its role in energy and material self-sufficiency, its complementarity with recycling and renewable energy, but also with other industries.

The statement has been co-signed by nine associations representing several important sectors at the EU level: CEWEP, Cogen Europe, Energy-Cities, ESWET, Energy Technologies Europe, Euroheat & Power, European Aluminium, FEAD and Municipal Waste Europe.

The signatories welcome the launch of the Platform on Sustainable Finance as Europe aims to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050. In this regard, the “EU Taxonomy” is a significant step to guide the green transition. While respecting the EU waste hierarchy, the signatories of the statement believe it is important for the Platform to consider more in-depth sectors dealing with waste management, heat and energy efficiency. They bring significant contributions to all of the environmental objectives listed in the taxonomy.

Waste-to-Energy plants link key sectors of the economy – waste management, heating and electricity sectors and others – and are key enablers of systems integration making the bridge between building a more circular economy, an energy union and achieving climate change goals.

As already acknowledged by the Commission [1], the statement underlines that Waste-to-Energy has a role to play in the circular economy:

  • As a complementary tool to recycling, it safely treats residual waste.
  • It diverts residual waste from landfills, which prevents methane emissions.
  • It ensures the implementation of the EU landfilling target, with a minimised environmental impact.
  • It turns waste into energy for the community and industries.
  • It recovers valuable secondary raw materials, which completes the proper separate collection and sorting in the prevention of further virgin material extraction.

[1] Communication on the role of Waste-to-Energy in the circular economy