‘Fundamentally flawed’: Could DEFRA’s approach to waste emissions reporting be producing perverse policies?

In February, the UK government published its final greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions report for 2020. In that year, the waste management sector was responsible for around 4% of GHGs. Encouragingly, emissions had dropped 7% between 2019 and 2020, and a whopping 73% in the 30 years from the 1990 baseline. Great news. Or was it?

by David Burrows
Bulldozers on a waste landfill with the river Thames in the background
Methane accounts for 89% of emissions attributed to waste management, and the ‘vast majority’ of those were from landfill sites (Photograph: Daniel Leal/Getty Images)

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