EU carbon removal certification ‘a positive first step’, says ESWET

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ESWET, a European association representing manufacturers in the field of Energy from Waste (EfW), has welcomed the European Commission’s new roadmap on carbon removal certification.

According to ESWET, carbon removal certification is “a positive first step” towards the successful implementation of carbon capture, storage and utilization (CCUS) technologies in Europe. The association also stressed that the specificities of all sectors, including EfW, should be taken into account to achieve the “2050 carbon neutrality objectives”.

Considering the role that CCUS could play in achieving decarbonization, ESWET referenced the latest IPCC report, which states that the capture and permanent storage of biogenic CO2 can “enable waste to be a source of energy with zero or even negative net emissions”.

Due to the heterogeneous composition of the non-recyclable waste treated, says ESWET, about 50% of the emissions emitted by EfW plants are of biogenic origin, that is to say from biomass. The association says the integration of CCUS could allow these plants to become carbon negative emitters.

The association also claimed that thorough regulation regarding the successful implementation of CCUS in EfW factories is currently lacking at the EU level.

With the aim of enabling the EfW sector to fully contribute to EU decarbonisation efforts, ESWET has called for carbon removal certification to:

  • Establish a clear legislative framework without contradiction with other decarbonization instruments
  • Facilitate access to EU funding for EfW to mainstream carbon capture, especially for large-scale plants
  • Provide business case and financial incentive for fossil and biogenic CO2 removals

A strong certification system, ESWET said, could also develop the full value chain, including carbon transport, storage and use. In response to increased financial support for the large-scale deployment of infrastructure in Europe and the efficiency of carbon removals, the association added, clear regulations should give visibility to investors and facilitate new projects.

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