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EU puts recycling on the agenda at Paris climate talks

December 2, 2015

EU puts recycling on the agenda at Paris climate talks

Arthur Neslen Brussels
Wednesday 2 December 2015 16.17 GMT

Europe has put recycling on the agenda of the Paris climate talks with a raft of new waste targets to cut emissions, with its environment commissioner calling on other countries to follow the EU’s lead.

Under the new goals, by 2030 European countries will have to recycle 65% of their municipal rubbish and 75% of their product packaging, as well as reducing landfill dumping to a maximum of 10% of overall waste disposal. The targets, some of which are binding, are expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 2-4% within 15 years.

On Thursday, the bloc’s environment commissioner, Karmenu Vella will call on delegates in Paris to match the EU.

“The world will need many individual measures like these, whose cumulative effect will be far greater than their individual impact,” Vella will say, according to a prepared speech seen by the Guardian.

The commissioner singles out the potential of waste reuse to curb carbon-intensive production processes, adding that “more cuts will come by reducing methane emissions from landfills.”

By expanding the use of eco-labels, “we [will] bring about savings that exceed the annual primary energy consumption of Italy,” he will say. “This translates into reduced greenhouse gas emissions of 340m tonnes of CO2 equivalent, more than 7% of total EU emissions in 2010, for example, and close to €500 saved each year for the average household.”

However, most of the new goals are diminutions of a previous package that the commission’s vice-president, Frans Timmermans , had promised to make “more ambitious”.

Read more at The Guardian.

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