Report published: Climate change mitigation through policies on waste – intersectoral analysis

23 February 2024

This week, the European Environment Agency (EEA) released a briefing entitled “Capturing the climate change mitigation benefits of circular economy and waste sector policies and measures”. The briefing combines the outputs of two key technical reports, one of which was the product of research on waste sector policies and measures conducted by Aether under the European Topic Centre on Climate Change Mitigation (ETC CM).

The Aether-led report provides a comprehensive analysis of policies and measures for climate change mitigation in the waste sector across EU-27 Member States (MS) as well as Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. In the context of achieving climate neutrality within the EU, our research sought to explore the variation in country-level implementation of European waste policy and how this has impacted on current reporting, quantification of emissions savings, and historical waste emissions trends. This had the overarching aim of assessing whether additional action is required to strengthen policymaking and achieve further emissions reductions within the waste sector.

We find that there is further scope for many European countries and Member States to decrease GHG emissions from the waste sector, particularly based upon future implementation requirements under the Landfill Directive. However, we also conclude that effective quantification of GHG impacts from waste policies must consider linkages to other reporting sectors. For example, by properly accounting for the downstream impacts of measures including energy from waste plants, waste recycling and other stages of the waste hierarchy.

Both the briefing and the report can be viewed at the following links:

https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/capturing-the-climate-change-mitigation

https://www.eionet.europa.eu/etcs/etc-cm/products/etc-cm-report-2024-01

Aether Team: Richard Claxton, Lucy Garland and Lewis Blannin

 

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