Carbon Market Watch

For fair and effective climate protection.

Europe Wakes up to the Reality of Carbon Credits from Waste (Watch This! #2)

27 Aug 2012

By Mariel Vilella, Climate Policy Campaigner, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives (GAIA)

Members of the European Parliament from a wide political spectrum, civil society organizations from 23 countries and international networks have signed a letter to the European Commission and the CDM Executive Board to demand an immediate halt to all investments and support to CDM-backed landfill gas systems and incinerators in developing countries.

These waste disposal projects contradict and undermine Europe’s official priorities: waste reduction, reuse, recycling, limiting toxic emissions from incineration, diverting organic waste from landfills and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. If proposed in Europe, these projects would breach the Waste Framework Directive, the Landfill Directive and the Incineration Directive.

After the vote on May 24th, the European Parliament is now fully committed to the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, which aims to ensure that all materials are efficiently used, recycled or composted, and residual waste is brought as close to zero as possible. The Roadmap proposes to gradually ban landfilling and phase out, by the end of this decade, the incineration of recyclable and compostable waste. The Roadmap also suggests that EU funding should follow the waste hierarchy and invest in recycling instead of disposal.

For all these reasons, MEPs and civil society said, the European Commission and the EU Member States should immediately halt all investment in CDM-backed incinerators and landfills gas systems in order to maintain the integrity of their own efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase resource efficiency and respect EU legislation. The Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism should immediately cease issuing carbon credits for incinerators and landfills.

For further information on CDM-backed landfills and incinerators please see: