Press Release: Keep Waste-To-Energy out of the EU Taxonomy Regulation


22 Oct 2020


In a Statement published today, Zero Waste Europe welcomed the launch of the European Sustainable Finance Platform and commended the European Union for driving the transition to a low-carbon, more resource efficient and sustainable economy.

The main takeaways of the Statement include:

  • The defence of the exclusion of Waste-To-Energy (WTE) incineration from the EU Taxonomy Regulation and its financial scope, as it harms the key environmental objective of ensuring the transition to a circular economy, waste prevention and recycling, and in line with the actions taken by other EU institutions and policies.
  • The recommendation that the exclusion of WTE incineration is replicated in subsequent legislation, in line with a core vision that all materials are preserved in the circular economy loop contributing to the goal of building a carbon neutral European Union by 2050.

Janek Vähk, Climate, Energy and Air Pollution Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe, said: ”Evidence across the board shows that WTE incineration is a high carbon-intense source of energy, a source of air pollution, and an unsafe technology. It puts countries and cities in a ‘lock in’ situation without a chance to improve waste prevention and recycling. Even if someone liked burning waste, it could not be considered green or sustainable.”

Mariel Vilella, Director of Global Strategy at Zero Waste Europe, added: “The pressure from the Waste-To-Energy industry to use green finance in Europe and also in countries like Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam in South East Asia, to build waste disposal infrastructure is acute and highly problematic, posing a threat to undermine the truly sustainable local opportunities for circular economy and locking these countries in a linear economy for decades.

Read the full statement.


Press Contacts:

Janek Vähk, Climate, Energy & Air Pollution Coordinator at Zero Waste Europe
[email protected] | +32 (0) 49 355 3779
Ana Oliveira, Communications Officer, Zero Waste Europe
[email protected] | +32 (0) 485 986 111