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The European Parliament halts perverse subsidies to energy from mixed waste

The European Parliament stopped improper subsidies for energy from the mixed waste

The European Parliament aligns the Renewable Energy Directive with the circular economy by strengthening the standards for waste and residues used in energy production.

For immediate release: Brussels, January 17, 2018

Today, the European Parliament voted to strengthen standards for the use of waste and residues in energy production, aligning the renewable energy directive with the circular economy.

Both member states and operators must ensure that the use of waste and residues to produce energy complies with the waste classification principle, so as to avoid distorting the waste, residue and by-product markets. Member States are also required to periodically review their policies and report any deviations.

In addition, member states should ensure that municipal waste that is not collected separately is not provided with renewable energy support. This means that the incentive plan that led to the incineration of recyclable waste has now been corrected.

Janek Vahk, Development and Policy Coordinator for Zero Waste Europe, said: “The Parliament has sent a clear signal to member states that when formulating renewable energy policies, including support programs, waste prevention and recycling must be a priority.”

The European Parliament also excludes mixed waste from the list of transportation fuel materials. However, the approved text will allow the use of waste gas to produce so-called recycled carbon fuels. "This may indirectly subsidize the use of non-renewable solid waste as biofuel for transportation, which goes against the spirit of the Renewable Energy Directive," Vahk said.

All in all, Zero Waste Europe congratulates the Parliament on its vote and calls on the Council to maintain the spirit of "circulation".


"The Parliament has sent a clear signal to member states: When formulating renewable energy policies (including support plans), waste prevention and recycling must be a priority."

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