Vote on renewable energy confirms commitment to circular economy

According to Zero Waste Europe, with yesterday's vote on the Renewable Energy proposal, the ENVI Committee took an important step to realign renewable energy policy with the EU waste legislation, and reconfirmed its commitment to achieve ambitious circular economy targets.
Martin Kummer;
Martin Kummer;

The text approved yesterday sets new safeguards for waste-to-energy processes, to ensure they respect the waste hierarchy, as laid down in Directive 2008/98/EC, and avoid distortive effects on markets for waste, residues and byproducts.

Janek Vahk, Zero Waste Europe’s Development and Policy Coordinator said: “By prioritising energy recovery over waste prevention and recycling, the current Renewable Energy Directive has been a key obstacle to achieve the goals of EU waste legislation. Yesterday night MEPs have sent a clear signal that the recovery of energy from waste must be strictly guided by the waste hierarchy.”

For Zero Waste Europe, the text adopted at the ENVI Committee includes most of the key elements needed to align the renewable energy proposal with the EU circular economy policies. The text sets stricter criteria for the use of municipal and industrial wastes for energy. Moreover, it excludes renewable energy support for waste that are not separately collected.

“We can only achieve a circular economy by phasing out subsidies for energy from mixed wastes. This is critical to the achievement of higher separate collection and recycling rates, in line with the requirements of the new waste legislation” said Janek Vahk.

Zero Waste Europe congratulates the ENVI Committee and the team of rapporteurs, and calls on ITRE MEPs to complete the aligning of renewable energy and circular economy policies by supporting the ENVI committee decision to exclude support schemes for energy from mixed wastes.


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