CENTRAL ASIA – 70 experts from Central Asia (CA), representatives of the European Union (EU) and the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) discussed the ways to apply waste-to-energy solutions in the CA cities and green investments during a two-day online workshop.

When waste cannot be prevented, reused or recycled, recovering its energy content is in most cases preferable to landfilling it, in both environmental and economic terms. The energy recovered from waste could also contribute to climate change mitigation and security of energy supply, by substituting traditional fossil fuels that would have been used to produce energy. Treatment of waste with recovery of generated energy and other waste-to-energy techniques are gaining more and more interest in the CA region.

The workshop was organised by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation (WECOOP)” with the aim to present advantages and disadvantages of waste-to-energy solutions, as well as to discuss their possible application in CA alongside other waste management projects. 

Addressing the participants, Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, stated: “In the EU, the traditional approach to waste management has been replaced with the concept of circular economy, which defines all types of waste as a resource rather than a material that has to be properly disposed of. This new concept is based on the strict hierarchy of waste management, that sees avoiding waste generation, reuse of materials and waste recycling as a priority. A waste to energy initiative in the EU started in 2017. Modern European Waste-to-Energy plants are clean and safe, meeting the strictest emission standards set for this industry by the EU Industrial Emissions Directive. The EU is committed to share our abundant experience in this field with our partners in Central Asia.”

Development of technologies and investments in the waste-to-energy sector is seen by the EU as an important element of the waste management system, primarily, because the countries have a number of targets to meet – they need to divert residual waste from landfill and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the climate change agenda. Waste-to-energy technologies can be part of the solution.

During the workshop, participating experts from the EU and IFIs, among them Asian Development Bank (ADB) and German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ) presented their current waste management projects. The participants also reviewed examples of implementation of waste-to-energy projects in the countries in Central Europe, Baltics, Caucasus and Central Asia.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to October 2022) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

For additional information, please contact Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova, Senior Communication Expert, WECOOP, e-mail: media@wecoop.eu, mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020, Ms Nurgul Smagulova, Event and Communication Officer, WECOOP, e-mail: nurgul.smagulova@wecoop.eu, mobile/WhatsApp: +77012066760, or EU Delegation to Kazakhstan Press Service: delegation-kazakhstan-pic@eeas.europa.eu


Cover photo: https://www.wienenergie.at.