The report, 2050: The future begins today – Recommendations for the EU’s future integrated policy on climate change, was published on 4 February.
MEPs have called for the EU and other industrialised countries to reach a 25-40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and a reduction target of at least 80% by 2050.
It sets out a broad range of measures which includes waste treatment and resource management. The report states: “In order to restrict direct emissions from the waste sector, it makes sense to avoid transporting unsorted waste over long distances, takes the view that cross-border transport of mixed domestic waste in the EU should therefore be reduced to a minimum; considers that illegal exports of material suitable for recycling must be combated in order to avoid ‘exporting emissions’ and retain valuable raw materials in the EU.”
The report also proposes that a “more consistent application of European standards of waste treatment is a possible way of linking development objectives – such as better protection of human health and the environment – with new economic opportunities while making a positive contribution to combating global climate change.”
MEPs are concerned that “climate change is both more rapid and more serious in terms of its adverse effects than was previously thought”.
Another proposal is for research and development in waste treatment and resource management technologies to be “enhanced”. It also calls on the European Commission to carry out a study on including the waste sector in emissions trading.
At a local level the report calls for the recycling and re-utilisation of waste, for instance by developing infrastructure for collection points.