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EU greenhouse gas emissions from waste decrease

European Union greenhouse gas emissions emitted from waste have fallen by more than one third, new figures from the European Environment Agency show. 

The EEA published a report on 29 May called Annual European Community Greenhouse Gas inventory 1990-2007.

Figures from the EEA show that between 1990 and 2007 waste emissions had fallen from 38.9 per cent. By contrast, emissions from transport in general rose by 23.7 per cent and from road transport by 24.7 per cent.

Overall, waste contributes 2.6 per cent to total GHG emissions.

The study assessed 15 EU members including the UK. On the whole, the report shows that EU-15 emissions dropped by 1.6 per cent from 2006 while the economy grew by 2.7 per cent.

European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: The recent emission reductions among the EU-15 give us the confidence that we will successfully reach our Kyoto target (United Nations greenhouse gas target). With more than half of EU-15 Member States registering notable emission reductions once again in 2007, our main concern now is to ensure that an ambitious global climate agreement for the period after 2012 is achieved at the Copenhagen conference in December. This will create a framework for worldwide emission reductions in the future.

The report states that total municipal waste disposal on land, including emissions arising from landfills, declined by 35 per cent between 1990 and 2007. It states: The Member States with most emissions from this source were Germany, Spain, Italy and the UK. Nine Member States reduced their emissions between 1990 and 2007. The largest reductions in absolute terms were reported by Germany and the UK. The emission reductions are partly due to the (early) implementation of the landfill waste directive or similar legislation of the Member States.

The report also highlights how the UK had the largest decreases in absolute terms for waste incineration emissions.

In March, MRW  reported that the Department of Energy and Climate Change stated that the UK had dropped its greenhouse gas emissions by two per cent with little change in emissions from the waste management sector.

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