Forum “Opportunities/Challenges of Waste Sector under Dual Carbon” held on August 6th

August 12, 2022

On August 6th, 2022, the forum “Opportunities and Challenges of Waste Industry under Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality“, co-organized by IWM NAMA and CAUES, was successfully held in Xiamen, Fujian province. The conference was held in a combination of online and offline mode, inviting experts and industry pioneers. The total number of the audience was over 150.


Mr. Wang Ke, vice professor of the Renmin University of China and vice president of Institute for Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality, introduced China’s vision, path and policy system under the dual carbon goal. He also made clear analysis on current situation of waste emission as well as potential and measures of emission reduction.

  • To achieve the carbon peak and carbon neutrality goal, the following four relationships must be managed: development vs emission reduction, short term vs medium/long term, overall vs local, and government vs market.
  • Carbon neutrality means the reorganization of the fossil-energy-based system and relevant infrastructure, which is also a process of restructuring benefits. Therefore, it faces challenges in technical, economic, social, and political aspects.
  • The “1+N” policy system of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality has been basically established in China, and relevant policies will be issued and implemented soon.
  • The waste sector and non-CO2 GHG emission reduction require the establishment/improvement of carbon measurement system as well as the standards of related industry, technology, and infrastructure.


Dr. Liu Xiao, Project Manager of IWM NAMA, demonstrated the practice of GIZ in waste management under Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality.

  • In terms of emission reduction, the waste industry has relatively high potential of autonomous emission reduction, with lower cost of emission reduction and significant environmental synergy benefits.
  • Compared with the baseline, 2.4 million tons CO2e emission reduction has been achieved by the five pilot cities of IWM NAMA in 2021, equiveillance to 120,000 hectare of forest carbon sink by one year. From baseline to 2021, the GHG emission density decreased from 0.8 to 0.5tCO2e/t MSW.
  • The transition from landfill to incineration or AD/composting plant of kitchen waste can greatly reduce the GHG emission.
  • Waste segregation is the starting point of the new phase of waste management. From mixed waste to segregated waste, the value of waste can be improved.


Ms. Dana Vyzinkarova, Technical Advisor of IWM NAMA, shared the positioning and trend of waste management in the carbon market of Europe and China.

  • Europe’s waste sector ranks 4th in GHG emissions after energy, agriculture, and industry. From 1990 to 2019, there’s an overall downward trend of emissions.
  • There are more than 500 WtE plants in Europe. About 50 million tons of CO2 per year are released from European waste incinerators.
  • GHG emissions are shifting from waste to energy sector.
  • Germany’s GHG emission from the waste sector is on a downward trend, emissions in 2030 will be about 90% less than in 1990. Within the EU, there are different views on their path of emission reduction, but all members are making continuous exploration to achieve the targets of the Paris Agreement.


Mr. Chang Xinjie, vice president of environmental working group, EU Chamber of Commerce in China, displayed how EU’s new policy on circular economy drives resource revolution and carbon neutrality.

  • The Circular Economy Policy Framework of EU includes Plastic Strategy, aiming that by 2030, all plastic packaging on the EU market will be recyclable; on packaging recycling, EU aims to establish a closed-loop recycling system to reduce the cross-border transmission of plastic waste.
  • The main objective of the EU Green New Deal is to achieve carbon neutrality within the EU by 2050.
  • The EU Taxonomy provides clear definitions of terms.
  • The German beverage bottle deposit system (98% recycling rate) and EPR system have obviously reduced carbon emission, but there are also some problems/challenges.
  • Since plastics are high-carbon materials and its incineration directly emits carbon, it is essential to form a closed-loop cycle for plastics – more recycling, less incineration, no landfills, optimized infrastructure for collection, sorting, and recycling of plastic waste.
  • Sorting before incineration/landfill can promote recycling, reduce carbon emissions, enhance waste treatment capacity, and lessen the fiscal burden.


Ms. Zhou Yanwen, Specialist of “Rethinking Plastics” project of GIZ, shared about the international background and innovative practices in marine plastic waste management based on the Case Study of her project.

  • Plastic waste accounts for 85% of marine litter. Managing marine plastic pollution will be incorporated into the international legal framework.
  • The Rethinking Plastic Case Study focus on the improvement of plastic waste management, sustainable consumption and production of plastics, as well as reduction of marine litter from sea-based sources with six project pilots in eight cities.
    • Xiamen: To establish DRS through market operation is feasible, and construction and operation cost can be covered at the 90% collection target.
    • Kailu: Using high-quality mulch film can reduce plastic residue in the soil; It is effective to reduce mulch film pollution through the cooperation with producers.
    • Qingdao: The reusable containers have remarkable environmental and economic benefits, and it can be promoted as a sustainable business model. The deposit and property management are important for reusable containers.
    • Changhua: The Fishing-for-Litter pilot is a good case of social governance on improving the marine environment; It is recommended to discuss the establishment of an incentive mechanism based on social recognition.


Ms. Chen Meian, project director/senior analyst of Igdp, explained about Methane reduction strategies and prospects of action.

  • To achieve the 1.5-degree temperature-rise-control target, the global methane emissions need to be reduced by 40%-45% by 2030. Methane emission reduction has become an important issue for global climate change cooperation.
  • Methane emissions are mainly from energy supply, agricultural production, and waste management. Among those, waste management accounted for 12% of China’s methane emissions in 2014.
  • Methane accounts for the highest proportion of emissions from the waste sector, mostly from solid waste and sewage treatment.
  • Challenges for methane emission reduction of waste management: Under existing emission reduction technologies and practices, the remaining methane emissions in 2050 will be around 800 million tons of CO2e, of which waste management accounts for 24%.
  • Opportunities for methane emission reduction of waste management: market opportunities – carbon market trading; policy opportunities— circular economy, waste-free cities, and green finance.


Representatives from Huanchuang Technology Co., LTD., SZE Bioland Co., LTD., Biostar-link Co., LTD. and Qingdao Henotech Co., LTD. have demonstrated their precious attempts in emission reduction under Carbon Peak and Carbon Neutrality.

The online livestreaming of this forum has drawn more than 85,000 viewers so far.

Image source: CAUES