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21 April 2023
Additional measures for climate targets hit waste sector

The waste sector will not escape additional measures to meet the 2030 climate targets, including a higher carbon tax and reducing waste incineration.

According to the Paris climate agreement, the Netherlands must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55 per cent by 2030 compared to 1990. The government has agreed on a 60 per cent reduction, to accommodate any setbacks. To achieve 60 per cent reduction, some 22 Mton emission reductions in 2030 are needed on top of the expected reductions from the agreed policies. This will require additional policies. This is according to the final report of the Interdepartmental Climate Policy Survey (IBO), which Minister Rob Jetten for Climate and Energy presented to the House of Representatives.

These additional measures affect industry, including the waste sector, among others. For instance, industry needs to reduce an additional 5.5 Mtonnes of CO2. One way to do this is to increase the CO2 tax on large industry, which includes waste incinerators, to 250 euros per tonne by 2030. This tightening should result in companies having an additional pricing incentive to reduce their CO2 emissions. In addition, dispensation rights should be reduced by 3.7 Mtonne in 2030, and then set to zero in 2038.

The IBO Climate also recommends a reduction in waste incineration, and to capture some of the CO2 emissions. In doing so, it recommends examining whether and how the systematics of the CO2 tax for WEEE can be adjusted so that a reduction in waste incineration is also rewarded under the tax.

Recycled plastic
There should also be a mandatory share of recycled and renewable plastics, at national and European level. A national so-called ‘blending obligation’ will initiate the transition from non-energy use of fossil fuels nationally, which can lead to first mover advantages in addition to emission reductions. A blending obligation at EU level leads to the greatest impact and a level playing field. But to what extent this can be achieved in the EU is still uncertain.

The report also considers the risks of leakage. If CO2 emissions become more expensive nationally, the consequences could be higher product prices for businesses and consumers. In addition, it may become less attractive for companies to continue producing in the Netherlands. However, reality is expected to be in the middle: partly Dutch consumers will pay more and partly businesses and emissions will move abroad. In doing so, creating a strong demand for green industry may attract new green companies and give existing companies an edge in later competition in a climate-neutral world.

Other sectors
Most additional CO2 reduction needs to be achieved in mobility (5.6 Mton), according to the report, including by increasing the use of biofuels in road and air traffic. In agriculture, an additional 5.5 Mtonne of CO2 emissions must be reduced until 2030, including by replacing the use of natural gas in greenhouse horticulture with renewable energy sources.

Source: AfvalOnline click here (in Dutch)




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