European Waste-to-Energy technology suppliers stand ready to contribute to the EU’s ambitious 2040 climate targets


Brussels, 7 February 2024 – In a milestone proposal that sets a new global standard for climate action, the European Commission has unveiled its ambitious plan for a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This bold step marks a significant advancement towards achieving climate neutrality by mid-century. ESWET – the European Suppliers of Waste-to-Energy Technology strongly supports this vision, recognising the crucial role that Waste-to-Energy (WtE) technologies will play in this transformative journey. 

As the EU positions itself at the forefront of the global fight against climate change, the WtE sector stands ready to contribute to these ambitious targets. Our technologies offer a sustainable pathway for managing non-recyclable waste while generating clean energy, aligning with the EU’s dual objectives of reducing emissions and advancing towards a circular economy. 

The new targets underscore the importance of innovative solutions in tackling climate change, with WtE technologies serving as a key component in the EU’s comprehensive strategy. By converting waste into energy, we not only address the challenge of waste management but also contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, supporting the EU’s commitment to a 90% reduction by 2040. It is worth noting that on top of the energy substitution, landfill diversion, material recovery from incineration bottom and fly ashes, increased efficiencies of processes, and hydrogen and e-fuel production substituting fossil fuels, coupled with carbon capture, render the WtE sector a carbon sink and its carbon footprint already carbon negative. 

For this initiative to be successful, a renewed agenda for sustainable industry and competitiveness will be required. The WtE sector is an integral part of this agenda, offering resilient and sustainable energy solutions that complement the EU’s efforts to maintain and enhance its competitive advantage in clean technologies. What is more, enhanced collaboration between policymakers, industry stakeholders, and the public can enable the full contribution of WtE technologies to the EU’s 2040 climate targets.  

Therefore, we call for a supportive regulatory and financing environment that fosters innovation in clean technologies; increased renewable energy targets, enhanced energy efficiency, promotion of heat recovery applications including in district heating and cooling, clearer rules for carbon pricing and carbon management, investments in infrastructure, larger funding for clean technology R&D (ensuring a technology-neutral approach), simplified and accelerated permitting processes for clean technologies, and all these to be realised in a socially just way.  

ESWET and its members are committed to driving innovation and sustainable growth within the framework of the EU’s climate objectives. As ESWET Secretary-General, Patrick Clerens, stated:
We are poised to support the transition towards a green economy through innovative and efficient Waste-to-Energy technologies. Our sector is uniquely positioned to contribute to the EU’s ambitious goals, providing a reliable and clean energy source that supports environmental sustainability. 



Related information:  

Report, Recovering the non-recyclable: the Integrated Resource-Recovery Facility 

Press release, Waste-to-Energy secures local, affordable energy for Europe