ISWA White Paper on Waste and Climate Change

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1 ISWA White Paper on Waste and Climate Change ISWA / EESC Workshop: "The Future of Waste Management and Climate Change in Europe" Brussels, 06 June 2011 Gary Crawford Vice President - Sustainable Development Veolia Environmental Services 1

2 Introduction Climate change is one of the most important global environmental issues facing our planet. In recent years, a number of events have demonstrated the international attention to this subject: the goal is to make all possible efforts to limit global warming to 2 C. In order to stabilize the levels of GHGs in the atmosphere, a portfolio of mitigation solutions has to be implemented. The waste sector must be part of this portfolio and can deliver significant GHG savings. 2

3 Waste sector: the climate decades The influence of Policy / Regulations Million tonnes CO2-eq emissions (+) / savings(-) Million tonnes CO2-eq emissions (+) / savings(-) Direct - Recycling Direct - Incineration Direct - Landfilling Direct - Transport Indirect - Recycling Indirect - Incineration Indirect - Landfilling Net GHG emissions GHG emissions from municipal waste in the EU from 1990 to 2007 (EEA, 2008 and ETC/SCP, 2009a). The maximum methane recovery rate from landfills is assumed to be 50% in a 100 year LCA perspective Year Progress in reducing GHG emissions in the EU between 1990 and 2007 was made through policy and regulations based on the Waste Hierarchy. The legislative framework included specific targets and directives regarding packaging waste and diversion of organic waste from landfill. 3

4 Waste sector: the climate decades Current status and action plan for the next decade Although a lot of progress has been made in the last past decades in the waste management sector there is still a huge potential for improvement in terms of GHG emissions and carbon footprint to reduce the climate impact of this sector. The next decade could be the one that will see the waste management sector become a net GHG emissions reducer. The White Paper prepared by the ISWA Task Force on Greenhouse Gas and Sustainable Waste Management covers the key actions to be undertaken to achieve this objective.

5 ISWA Task Force In 2008, ISWA launched a Task Force (TF) on Greenhouse Gas and Sustainable Waste Management. The key deliverable of the TF was issued at the Copenhagen Conference - the ISWA White Paper on Waste and Climate Change. The White Paper (WP) identified 8 key messages covering the following topics: Potential reducer of GHG emissions Proven Technologies Material Recovery Organic Recovery Energy Recovery CDM Opportunities Waste policies and regulations GHG accounting The WP also includes ISWA s recommendations and overall commitments Deliverables also included 2 Special Issues WM&R (24 papers)

6 The waste sector: a potential reducer of GHG emissions Key message n 1 : The waste industry occupies a unique position as a potential reducer of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As industries and countries worldwide struggle to address their carbon footprint, waste sector activities represent an opportunity for carbon reduction which has yet to be fully exploited. Between 1990 and 2003, total global GHG emissions from the waste sector declined 14-19% for the 36 industrialised countries and Economies in Transition (Annex 1 Countries of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change) A key-area for CO 2 reduction investments: There is significant GHG reduction potential from SWM activities from both developing and industrialized countries There are improvements that can be made in any country that can be directly applied in order to have measurable results in short-term horizon A real possibility for short-term emission reductions!

7 Technologies Key message n 2: The waste sector offers a portfolio of proven, practical and cost effective technologies which can contribute to GHG mitigation. When adapted and deployed according to local conditions and needs, they can help secure significant global GHG emission savings. SORTING/ RECYLING Technology choice: function of a number of variables INCINERATION LANDFILLS PHYSICAL- CHEMICAL TREATMENTS

8 Actions to reduce GHG emissions Collection and transportation Rationalization of collection operations and improvement of fuel efficiency. Use of alternative fuels (biodiesel, bioethanol...) Development of alternative means of transportation (rail and waterway transport...) Implementation of driver training programs Recycling Increase of the material recovery rate to save energy. Recovery of substitute fuels (waste oil, refuse derived fuels...) Waste to energy Substitution of energy produced from fossil fuels by thermal energy and electricity from waste combustion. Recovery of metals and bottom ashes from incineration. Biological treatment Increase the compost production, low emitting treatment solution. Recovery of the methane from anaerobic digestion processes Landfill Installation of active landfill gas collection and treatment systems Use of landfill gas as a fuel to produce electricity or thermal energy

9 Landfill gas capture Landfills are the major contributors to climate change in the waste sector, through their fugitive methane emissions. It is therefore a priority to reduce these direct emissions and to increase avoided emissions. Actions to reduce emissions Install active landfill gas collection and treatment systems Europe s CH4 emissions from landfills decreased by 40% between 1990 and (EEA) Australia's CH4 emissions from landfills decreased by 12.6% between 1990 and (Australian Dep. Of Climate Change) US CH4 emissions from landfills decreased by 20% between 1990 and 2009 (US EPA)

10 Material Recovery Key message n 3: Waste prevention, minimisation, reuse and recycling are on the increase across the globe, representing a growing potential for reducing GHG emissions by conserving raw materials and fossil fuels. The potential GHG savings from waste prevention and minimisation could greatly exceed the savings that can be achieved by advanced technologies managing postconsumer waste. Recycling is an integral part of waste management systems and a fundamental waste management tool. Recycling materials such as paper, cardboard, metal, glass can help to limit resource consumption and achieve energy savings. 10

11 Material Recovery Management of Municipal Waste in the EU-27 in 2007 Source: Eurostat

12 Material Recovery The recycling of waste fractions allows to avoid the extraction and transformation of virgin materials and the associated GHG emissions. Actions to reduce emissions Example study: A few avoided emissions factors associated with the recycling of different waste fractions: Increase material recovery rate to save energy. Paper: tco2 / t HDPE: tco2 / t PET: tco2 / t Glass: tco2 / t Ferrous metal: tco2 / t Aluminium: tco2 / t Textiles: tco2 / t Source: Waste management options and climate change, AEA Technology for DG Environment, 2001

13 Organic Recovery Key message n 4 : Through aerobic and anaerobic biological treatment technologies, organic wastes can be recovered and transformed into soil conditioners and fertilisers. These processes reduce GHG emissions by sequestering biogenic carbon in soils, improving soil physical properties, and adding soil nutrients. Biological treatment, in particular composting, is a relatively simple, durable and inexpensive alternative for stabilising and reducing biodegradable waste. The use of biologically treated organic waste as a soil amendment can contribute to avoided GHG emissions, estimated to be up to 60 kg CO2 eq. per tonne of biodegradable waste and resulting from: The binding of carbon in the soil (sequestration) The reduced production and importation of mineral fertilisers The substitution of peat in the production of growth media. Methane can be recovered from anaerobic digestion processes to produce heat and/or electricity. 13

14 Energy Recovery Key message n 5 : Waste offers a significant source of renewable energy. Incineration and other thermal processes for waste-to-energy, landfill gas recovery and utilisation, and use of anaerobic digester biogas can play important roles in reducing fossil fuel consumption and GHG emissions. There is significant energy value in waste. Existing technologies for energy recovery from waste are mature, cost-effective, and environmentally acceptable. Thermal processes, landfill gas utilisation, and use of digester biogas provide important local renewable energy benefits to offset fossil fuels. Additional policies and measures should be encouraged to increase the role of waste sources in the global energy mix, including renewable energy mandates, taxes and economic incentives. 14

15 Energy Recovery Waste-to-energy Energy from Biogas Globally, more than 130 million tonnes of waste are incinerated every year at over 600 waste-to-energy plants, producing over 1000 PJ of electricity per annum. This is equivalent to the electrical energy demand of approximately 10 million European consumers (100GJ per annum). Energy production from biogas in the EU: 8.3 million toe, (4% increase from 2008) Breakdown: Anaerobic digestion - 52% Landfill gas - 36% Wastewater 12% Source: EurObserv ER 2009 Source: Themelis,N. (2003)/IEA (2009)

16 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Key message n 6: The transfer of sustainable technology to developing countries is crucial to reducing GHG emissions. The CDM, introduced under the Kyoto Protocol, has provided an opportunity for the waste sector to make significant advances towards this goal. However, structural and administrative improvements to the CDM registration process are needed. The CDM has been successfully implemented with 3147 registered projects and many more in the pipeline. The waste sector is well represented amongst the registered projects, accounting for 14.7%. The revenues from the sale of emissions credits can contribute to the advancement of environmentally sound waste management practices. Currently registered Landfill gas and methane avoidance projects (including wastewater) are on track to deliver more than 230 million carbon credits by the end of Source: CD4CDM CDM Pipeline, November,

17 Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Landfill Gas to Energy Project in Bogota, Colombia Awarded to company entitled Biogas Dona Juana (50 % GRS Valtech (operated by Proactiva Colombia); 50 % Gas Natural) Project activity : Installation of an active landfill gas collection system Combustion of landill gas in flares, utilisation of landfill gas in engines to produce electricity and for thermal energy in up to 70 brick factory kilns surrounding the site Crediting period : 7 years, renewable twice maximum Estimated Emission Reduction : ~ 5,800 ktonnes of CO2 eq / 7 years Project registered 10 September

18 Policy / Regulations Key message n 7: Waste regulations and policies can be strong national drivers to reduce GHG emissions. Waste policies and regulations containing precise long-term and intermediate targets for better handling of waste are important drivers for the reduction of GHG emissions. Where implemented, such waste management policies and regulations can create significant GHG emission reductions. Each country and city has a unique starting point in terms of waste composition, waste technologies and infrastructure, climate conditions, and economic means to enact adequate policy and regulation frameworks. Examples provided in the WP for Europe, the US, and Malasia. 18

19 Policy / Regulations

20 Greenhouse Gas Accounting Key message n 8: Accurate measurement and quantification of GHG emissions are critical in order to set and monitor realistic GHG emissions reduction targets at all levels. Current methodologies form a valuable database for assessment of GHG emissions from waste activities, however, improvements are required to adequately represent the full life cycle of materials and energy. A number of reliable reporting and quantification tools of GHG emissions from waste management activities exist. The various tools have differing objectives, parameters and scopes (see next slide). These tools are essential to help the waste management industry as well as other stakeholders to evaluate and compare how the sector can reduce GHG emissions and increase savings. A significant portion of the sectors GHG benefits correspond to avoided emissions through energy and material recovery. Per IPCC methodologies used for national / international consolidations, these benefits are attributed to sectors other than waste. This does not allow for a complete view of the contributions from waste activities. 20

21 Greenhouse Gas Accounting Greenhouse Gas Accounting Methods / Tools

22 Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) NAMAs: are voluntary emission reduction measures by developing countries are expected to be the main vehicle for mitigation action in developing countries under a future climate agreement can be policies, programs and projects implemented at national, regional, or local levels. NAMAs should include sustainable waste management and recycling The sector has proven experience and capabilities in the following key elements of NAMAs: Technology transfer Policy examples Sustainable development co-benefits Capacity building Measurement, Reporting and Verification Methodologies

23 Conclusion The waste sector can play an important role in meeting GHG emission reduction targets. There are proven and cost-effective waste management technologies and approaches that can be applied and deliver substantial GHG emission reduction. Sustainable waste management and recycling should be included in future international agreements (including NAMAs; extension of current Kyoto project mechanisms; new market mechanisms; sector approaches; access to funding ) It is essential that this message is communicated to international, national and local policy makers to encourage the implementation of these local solutions which help to address this global problem.

24 Thank you for your attention! Gary CRAWFORD Vice President Sustainable Development Veolia Environmental Services 169, avenue Georges Clemenceau Nanterre Cedex, France Tel : Fax :