Conservatives pledge to ban incinerator permits

The Conservative Party has pledged to ban waste incinerators in its 2024 manifesto, released today (11 June 2024).

Although mention of the waste sector and its regulations were minimal, Rishi Sunak included the ban in the manifesto, announced at Silverstone earlier on today.

The pledge extends to those that have recently received permit approvals, and “revoking” those where “substantial construction has not taken place”.

This move is said to “recognise the impact on local communities”, as well as the fact that increased recycling rates will “reduce the need for incineration capacity in the longer term”.

The pledge follows a seven-week ban on permits for EfW facilities, and mirrors the halt of further EfW plants in Scotland and Wales.

Waste crime

The Conservative Party has also pledged to take “comprehensive action” to “crack down” on organised waste crime, particularly those that impact protected nature sites, and deliver “enhanced” penalties for fly-tipping.

The manifesto also included a brief mention of the planned Deposit Return Scheme (DRS), emphasising that it is in development, “while working to minimise the impact on business and consumers”.

Frank Gordon, director of policy, Association for Renewable Energy and Clean Technology (REA), said: “There are a few welcome measures in the Conservative manifesto, for example, confirming support for Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS), however overall, it lacks ambition and continues the PM’s divisive tone on tackling net zero, which is not helpful for the sector.

“We do not recognise the characterisation in places of net zero as a burden to the economy and households. Rather we highlight this government’s previous approach that recognised energy security and Net Zero as two sides of the same coin within their plans for Powering Up Britain. Investment in Net Zero delivers real economic opportunities for growth and demonstrable real returns in the form of an affordable, secure and decarbonised energy system.”

Mike Childs, head of policy at Friends of the Earth, said: “The Conservatives are attempting the impossible by pledging to maintain global leadership on climate change while walking backwards on the measures needed to reduce carbon emissions.

“This manifesto falls so far short of what’s needed, it reads like the party has given-up on the long-held conservative value of protecting the environment for future generations.”

** Industry reactions will be added to this story as they arrive. 

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