Table of Contents

Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law

Research Handbook on Climate Change Mitigation Law

Research Handbooks in Environmental Law series

Edited by Geert Van Calster, Wim Vandenberghe and Leonie Reins

Governments around the world have been trying to find ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for decades. This detailed Handbook considers the spectrum of legal and market-based instruments as well as strategies and policies adopted around the world and suggests more effective, comprehensive and responsive ways of managing climate change mitigation.

Chapter 17: Waste management in the EU

Geert Van Calster

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, law - academic, energy law, environmental law


This chapter reviews the EU’s waste management regime as it applies in the specific context of climate mitigation. I have exercised my academic and practice experience in waste management to select, among the rather extensive amount of European Union waste laws, those with, in my view, the most immediate impact on climate mitigation issues. However, especially given the pervasive nature of climate change in EU environmental law, any selection may, of course, show one or two gaps. It is not only the omnipresent nature of climate change in EU environmental law which explains a role for waste management in the climate debate. Technical parameters, too, suggest a strong link between waste management and climate change mitigation. The regulation of waste landfills is the most obvious example in this regard. In particular, reduction of biodegradable waste from landfill (in favour of fermentation or composting) reduces methane emissions.

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