Commenting on the Conservative Party’s Manifesto, ADBA Chief Executive Charlotte Morton welcomed the Conservatives’ continued commitment to the Paris Climate Change Agreement and 2050 carbon targets, as well as the commitment to a diverse market of energy provision. However, she noted that there was no concrete action to boost recycling rates, meaning that recyclable non-edible food waste will continue to go to landfill, and expressed concern about the focus on shale gas, which will make it difficult for the UK to meet its climate change goals.
With regard to the Labour Party Manifesto, Charlotte welcomed plans to reconfigure funds for farming support to boost local growth and sustainable practices, given the huge potential of AD to benefit the green, circular economy. She also welcomed plans to boost the share of energy from zero-carbon or renewable sources by 2030. However, she cautioned against the proposed emergency price cap on bills, warning that this may impact on investment in the sector.
Turning to the Liberal Democrats' Manifesto, Charlotte welcomed the commitment to a ‘Zero Carbon Britain’ Act to set new ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, as well as their recommendation of statutory waste recycling targets and the potential for an incineration tax. However, she confirmed that AD is not specifically mentioned in these plans, which would have been a logical extension of the party’s aims to cut waste to landfill.
“We welcome the continued commitment from the Conservatives to meeting our carbon and climate change commitments” said Ms Morton. “However, we would have appreciated more detail on how the AD industry will be supported to help the Government meet its pledges to move to a more diverse energy supply in practice, while reducing the amount of food that ends up being incinerated or going to landfill. I am also concerned about the enthusiastic promotion of shale gas in the manifesto – it will be very difficult for us to meet our climate change commitments using shale – green gas from AD is surely better than old-fashioned fossil fuels. ADBA welcomes the Labour Party’s commitment to boosting our supply of clean, green energy as well as their recognition that support for farmers should encourage sustainable practices. However, we are concerned about their proposed cap on energy bills, as this could have the unintended consequence of limiting investment in the sector. The Liberal Democrats have some strong environmental policies in their manifesto. However, it is a shame given their commitment to tackling the problem of waste that they don’t highlight AD’s great potential to prevent these materials going to incineration or landfill.”
ADBA’s “Three Asks” for anaerobic digestion were previously featured in Renewable Energy Magazine here.