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UNEP Releases Waste and Climate Change Report

3 December 2010: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) International Environmental Technology Centre has released a report titled "Waste and Climate Change: Global Trends and Strategy Framework."

According to the report, estimates put the emissions contribution of the waste sector at roughly 3-5%, but notes that reliability of calculation methods and data between countries vary, with uncertainty ranging from 10-30% in developed countries to 60% in developing countries.

The report concludes that the waste sector is well placed to cut its contribution to global man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and even become an emissions saver. It recommends: reducing the amount of primary materials used in manufacturing; storing carbon in landfills and compost; and harvesting methane from rubbish tips for fuel and electricity generation. The report also highlights the potential to decouple waste production from economic growth through Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects focusing on landfill gases. [The report] [UN Press release]