EU Taxonomy – Waste-to-Energy can be sustainable

ESWET and CEWEP welcome the report on the “EU Taxonomy” published by the Technical Expert Group (TEG) on sustainable finance, with the positive remarks of the experts emphasising that “WtE has a role to play even in an increasingly circular economy, as not all waste can be reused or recycled”.

Other experts expressed concerns whether WtE could hamper recycling.

In light of the political agreement text, the TEG has recommended bringing Waste-to-Energy for further consideration to the Platform on Sustainable Finance.

According to EUROSTAT data, almost half of the EU Member States still landfill more than 40% of their waste (above 80% in some countries). That’s not good news for EU waste management. Methane emitted by landfills is a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than CO2 over a 20-year period. It is thus in the interest of a greener Europe not to overlook the treatment of residual waste.

We firmly believe that energy recovery from residual waste that cannot be reused or recycled (e.g. for hygienic reasons) is a key enabler to the success of any truly sustainable waste management strategy.


  1. The industry is misleading, the Taxonomy clearly excludes the waste to energy incineration. One of the experts said at the Stakeholder Dialogue on Sustainable Finance on the EU Taxonomy for Sustainable Finance “As regards to water and waste management, energy efficiency and adaptation were key, there was a huge debate around the need to look into incineration of waste, but very much we stuck to the fact that again in conversation with the European Commission and looking at trends globally that we are not going to foster greater incineration but rather the recycling and reuse of waste in the most appropriate manner” Recording of the stakeholder event is now online.


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