The German Cabinet has decided to include waste fuels in emissions trading.
The German government sees national CO2 pricing as an important instrument for achieving Germany's climate targets. If the Bundestag approves the amendment to the Federal Emissions Trading Act (BEHG), operators of waste incineration plants would be obliged to buy emission certificates for their carbon dioxide emissions for national fuel emissions trading in the future. According to Euwid, this is supported by parts of the waste management industry such as the bvse-Bundesverband Sekundärrohstoffe und Entsorgung (German Association for Secondary Raw Materials and Waste Management) and the environmental services provider Interzero (Alba). According to a press release, the bvse expressly welcomes the federal government's plan. In a letter to members of the Bundestag Committee on the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety and Consumer Protection, bvse President Henry Forster and Chief Executive Eric Rehbock said they had made it clear that, in their view, the BEHG would contribute to an increase in recycling and higher-value energy recovery. "More expensive incineration prices will increase efforts to keep more materials separate for recycling or to sort them out of a mixture. We have a shared responsibility for climate and resource protection, and that is why we ask you to approve the federal government's plan," the letter to members of the Bundestag said. Also each plant, whether biogas plant, LVP sorting, RDF incineration, cement plant or commercial waste processing, would have to pay attention to the qualities in the input and, if necessary, exert a controlling influence on the supplier. Therefore, it was not explainable for the bvse why incineration plants, of all things, should evade this responsibility.
According to Euwid, criticism of the amendment to the BEHG comes from the Association of Municipal Companies (VKU), the BDE Federal Association of the German Waste Management, Water and Recycling Industry, the ITAD Interest Group of Thermal Waste Treatment Plants in Germany and the DGAW German Waste Management Association, among others, who doubt that the law will have a steering effect. The cabinet draft will result in waste exports to countries with low-quality treatment facilities instead of promoting sustainable products, reusability and recyclability, the associations said.