Following the first Delegated Act, the European Suppliers of Waste to Energy Technology (ESWET) reaffirmed its support for the EU Taxonomy, recognizing it as an important part of achieving a carbon-neutral Europe.
The EU Taxonomy is a European classification system that identifies environmentally friendly and sustainable economic undertakings. It is expected to scale up the region's sustainable investments and help the European Union implement its "European Green Deal," its plan for a sustainable economy.
Finding a Place for Waste-to-Energy in the EU Taxonomy
Together with the inclusion of anaerobic digestion - the breaking down of organic matter into reusable biomass like fuel and fertilizer - ESWET is looking forward to a "broader inclusion" of waste-to-energy, calling the possibility a "positive signal for the whole waste management sector."
In a press release on its official website, the European association that represents developers and suppliers of waste-to-energy tech welcome the inclusion, lauding The Platform on Sustainable Finance for recognizing the role of anaerobic digestion - also a form of waste-to-energy technology - in reducing wastes in landfills and its subsequent methane emissions.
However, ESWET notes that the Delegated Act of the EU Taxonomy "fails to reflect a comprehensive approach for waste management." It also explains that while standard waste prevention, reuse, and recycling remain the priority of environmental policies, it should also offer alternative energy such as those focused on waste-to-energy utilization, especially since these technologies offer services in safely managing non-recyclable wastes.
"We believe that, following the request made in March 2020 by the Technical Expert Group on sustainable finance (TEG), the Platform on sustainable finance should have considered the role of Waste-to-Energy in the Taxonomy," said ESWET Secretary-General Patrick Clerens.
The call for support from ESWET has seen support from various trade associations covering different industry sectors in Europe. In fact, nine of these trade associations released a joint statement calling for the EU Taxonomy to positively consider the contributions of Waste-to-Energy technology towards achieving its goals. The same call has been supported in a PWC legal analysis of the tech under the EU Taxonomy.
ESWET also notes that the EU Taxonomy still overlooks the harmful effects on the environment of these non-recyclable waste, when most of the EU member states send about 40 percent of their wastes to landfills. This led to an increasing waste generation trend in the continent for three years now.
As the EU Taxonomy is now working on the second Delegated Act, the European tech association renews its calls to foster an open discussion to better identify how waste-to-energy solutions can better contribute to the economy and the environment.
ESWET represents companies dealing with the development and supply of waste-to-energy technology, which recovers energy and uses it to provide power to households, structures, transportation systems, and even industrial facilities. Aside from drawing waste from landfills to be used as biofuels, processes in sustainable technology also ensure that the metals and minerals emerging as byproducts of the combustion process are recovered and reused as additives or raw materials for a variety of purposes.
Check out more news and information on Waste Reduction on Science Times.