The European Parliament halts perverse subsidies to energy from mixed waste

Today the European Parliament voted to align the Renewable Energy Directive with the circular economy, by strengthening the criteria for the use of waste and residues for energy production.
Rainer Sturm, pixelio.de

According to Zero Waste Europe both Member States and the operators will have to ensure that the production of energy from waste and residues respects the principle of the waste hierarchy, thus avoiding distortive effects on the markets for waste, residues and byproducts. Member States are also required to regularly review their policies and report on any deviations.

Moreover, Member States shall ensure that no renewable energy support is provided for municipal waste which is not separately collected. This means the incentive schemes that have led recyclable waste to be burnt have now been corrected.

Janek Vahk, development and policy coordinator at Zero Waste Europe, said: “the Parliament sent a clear signal to the Member States: waste prevention and recycling must be the priority option when developing policies for renewable energy, including the support schemes.”

The European Parliament also excluded mixed waste from the list of feedstock for transport fuels. However, the approved text would allow the use of waste processing gases for the production of so called recycled carbon fuels. “This may indirectly subsidise the use of non-renewable solid waste for transport biofuels, which goes against the spirit of the renewable energy directive”, said Vahk.

All in all, Zero Waste Europe congratulates the Parliament for the vote, and calls on the Council to keep up the ‘circular’ spirit.

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