Emissions Trading Scheme Consultation: Carbon Pricing is Key Tool to Achieve Net Zero for the Waste Sector

Runcorn chimney ETS

“Carbon pricing is a key tool to achieve net zero for the waste sector but getting the design and wider policy interactions right is essential if it is to be a successsays Viridor


Viridor welcomed today’s launch of the Government's consultation on UK Emissions Trading Scheme Scope Expansion to include waste incineration and Energy from Waste (EfW). This decision follows last year’s ‘Developing the UK ETS’ consultation  and closely aligns with Viridor’s own ambition to achieve Net Zero by 2040 and become climate positive by 2045.

Carbon pricing is an important tool to underpin waste sector decarbonisation and can play an invaluable role in reaching the UK’s net zero targets. The confirmation of the 2028 implementation date, following a two-year Monitoring, Reporting and Verification (MRV) period fits with other government policies that support both decarbonisation and the creation of a more circular economy. These policies include eliminating biodegradable waste from landfills, fully implementing the Resources and Waste Strategy and rolling out Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) initiatives, such as Viridor’s own CCS project at its Runcorn Energy Recovery Facility.

The consultation rightly identifies key issues to be worked through if the ETS expansion is to drive decarbonisation, including ensuring ETS costs are borne by those best placed to decarbonise the waste stream and aligning with wider policy measures to prevent waste being diverted from EfW to landfill or export which would increase emissions.

Commenting on this, Viridor’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Tim Rotheray says, “Expansion of ETS into the waste sector is an important aspect of driving sector decarbonisation and aligns with our commitment to be a climate positive business by 2045. However, the waste sector is particularly complex for emissions trading and it is crucial that we get the detail right, in particular ensuring waste does not get diverted into higher emission treatment options such as landfill, or waste export.”
He continues, “The provision of a two-year monitoring period is really helpful to inform the sector and customers on how emissions trading will work. We need to ensure that the policy starts off as simply as possible with complexity building over time so that all sector customers can get used to the new rules and act to reduce the carbon content of waste in order to respond to the Emissions Trading Scheme signals.”
Following review of the consultation, Lee Hodder, Managing Director of Viridor Polymers, adds, "It is really positive and important that the government has acknowledged the role of Chemical Recycling in enhancing the UK's circular economy and we welcome the plans to exempt chemical polymer reprocessing facilities as part of the Emissions Trading Scheme.”

Viridor looks forward to responding to the consultation and working closely with Government over the coming months to address any issues and ensure the successful expansion of ETS.



📸 Photo credit: photograph©bigcheese.co.uk2024

UK Emissions Trading Scheme Scope Expansion Consultation Document

UK Emissions Trading Scheme Scope Expansion: Waste