Environment

CCS During Waste Incineration Removes CO2 From the Atmosphere

All waste contains biological material. It cannot all be recycled efficiently, so large volumes have to be incinerated.

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The capture and storage of CO2, also known as CCS, from our waste is essential because this refuse is responsible for a large proportion or our cities’ greenhouse gas emissions. Moreover, the technology represents a relatively inexpensive abatement cost.

In order to achieve the targets set out in the Paris Agreement, aiming to keep global warming to within 1.5 degrees higher than pre-industrial levels, it will not be sufficient simply to reduce emissions. We must also actively remove CO2 from the atmosphere and establish a balance between emissions and removal.

Not all industries will be able to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The agricultural sector is a good example. But if we are to achieve total net zero emissions during the next 30 years, we have to capture one CO2 molecule and remove it from the atmosphere for every molecule we release. With between 50 and 70 percent biological material currently being processed in energy recycling plants employing waste incineration, this will make a considerable difference to our carbon accounting.

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