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Consider waste-to-energy under EU Taxonomy, urge organisations

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Nine organisations have issued a joint statement urging the Platform on Sustainable Finance to consider the position of waste-to-energy under the EU Taxonomy.

The letter was signed by the Confederation of European Waste-to-Energy Plants, COGEN Europe, Energy Cities, Energy Technologies Europe, ESWET, Euroheat & Power, the European Waste Management Association (FEAD), and Municipal Waste Europe.

The companies welcomed the launch of the Platform on Sustainable Finance, highlighting the EU Taxonomy Regulation 2020/852 as a ‘significant step’ to guide the green transition, but also pushed for an increased focus on waste-to-energy.

The organisations believe it is important for the Platform to consider more in-depth sectors dealing with waste management, heat, and energy efficiency, as they bring ‘significant contributions’ to all of the environmental objectives listed in the taxonomy.

Every year, approximately 15 million European citizens receive heat generated in waste-to-energy plants via district heating. The plants most often use high-efficiency co-generation, which makes them and their district heating networks highly efficient and recovering heat and cooling that would otherwise be wasted.

Co-generation also enables them to provide electricity for 18 million citizens when variable renewable energy sources are not available. Doing so, say the organisations, 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 goals.

Because of its role in energy and material self-sufficiency in Europe, its ability to work with recycling and renewable energy and other industries, waste-to-energy is one of the sectors involved in the transition towards a sustainable Europe.

The organisations have, therefore, invited the Platform on Sustainable Finance to positively consider waste-to-energy and assess under what conditions it can be considered as taxonomy-eligible.