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Impact of Energy from Waste and Recycling Policy on UK GHG Emissions - WR0609

Description
The overall aim of this project is:

To quantify, for a range of scenarios, the likely effects of national-level waste management targets, and other relevant Government policies, on UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025 and (to the extent possible) by five yearly intervals to 2050.

The UK has a legally binding target under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions of a basket of six greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) to 12.5% below base year levels over the commitment period from 2008 to 2012. It also has a domestic goal of reducing carbon dioxide to 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.

The Government is currently conducting a review of its UK Climate Change Programme (CCPR). The Programme contains a package of polices and measures to meet the Kyoto commitment and the 20% goal and to prepare the UK to make more significant cuts in the longer term. We are aiming to publish a revised programme before the end of the year.

Waste management makes a significant contribution to UK emissions of greenhouse gases, in particular methane from landfills. It is currently estimated that UK landfills emitted around 1 million tonnes of methane in 1990, contributing about 3% to total UK greenhouse gas emissions in that year. Emissions of methane from landfill sites have declined by 36% over the last decade due to the implementation of landfill gas recovery schemes. Other forms of waste management (recycling etc) can result in net reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases due to reduced energy requirements.

The Government is implementing the EU Landfill Directive in England through the Landfill Allowance Trading Scheme to reduce the biodegradable waste disposed of to landfill. The scheme provides tradeable allowances for local authorities in England. Alternative waste management facilities for diverted waste (e.g. incineration with energy recovery or recycling plants) have a range of environmental benefits and impacts, including emissions of greenhouse gases. Within the framework of the national Waste Strategies, the appropriate mix of facilities in local areas will be a matter for Local Authorities.

ERM carried out for Defra a study, final report published in March 2004, examining the impact of the EU Landfill Directive and National Strategies on UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This developed a spreadsheet model to quantify emissions of the six Kyoto greenhouse gases from waste treatment and associated transportation emissions. It analysed eight policy scenarios for municipal waste and five for commercial and industrial waste related to implementation of the landfill directive and waste strategy and concluded that all options would lead to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions below the baseline.

The current study will build on this study and update the likely effects on UK greenhouse gas emissions of a range of scenarios for energy from waste and recycling policies in time for consideration under the CCPR and to contribute to the review of Waste Strategy 2000. The two purposes will require consideration of firstly emissions in the UK only (and disaggregated by devolved administration), and secondly from a global perspective.

Objective
The overall aim of this project is:

To quantify, for a range of scenarios, the likely effects of national-level waste management targets, and other relevant Government policies, on UK greenhouse gas emissions in 2005, 2010, 2015, 2020, 2025 and (to the extent possible) by five yearly intervals to 2050.

The following specific objectives are required to meet the overall aim of the Consultancy:

(a) Review recent research (detailed below) on the effects of waste management policies on greenhouse gas emissions, and from these studies and data sources, to produce a best estimate of greenhouse gas emissions. This will include a table of greenhouse gas emissions by waste management treatment options (split by material for recycling);
(b) Agree, with Defra officials, a limited range of scenarios for waste management treatment options, and provide a quantitative assessment of the likely effects of each scenario on overall UK greenhouse gas emissions;
(c) Estimate the costs and benefits associated with the above scenarios. These should be quantified in line with HMT Green Book methodology, that is producing estimated Net Present Value (NPV) of the measures, with and without valuing the benefit of carbon saved, for 2010, 2020 and over the lifetime of the policy. Estimates of cost-effectiveness – the cost per tonne of carbon saved – should also be produced;
(d) Identify and to the extent possible quantify key sensitivities and risks that will affect these assessments.

Project Documents
• Final Report : Impact of energy from waste and recycling policy on UK greenhouse gas emissions   (2699k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2005

Cost: £42,375
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Environmental Resources Management - Oxford
Keywords
Environment and Health              
Environmental Protection              
Modelling/Projections              
Policy Analysis/Evaluation              
Risk assessment and management              
Waste              
Waste Management              
Fields of Study
Waste Management