SOURCE: Covanta Energy

Covanta Energy

June 25, 2013 16:59 ET

Covanta Energy Applauds President Obama's Climate Action Plan

Reducing Methane Pollution From Landfills and Applying Sustainable Waste Management Practices Can Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by One Billion Tons Every Year by 2050

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Jun 25, 2013) -  Covanta Energy Corporation, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy, congratulates President Barack Obama and his administration on the announced Climate Action Plan. The broad-sweeping plan addresses major sources of carbon pollution as well as other greenhouse gases like methane. A powerful greenhouse gas, methane's potency has led to calls for its immediate reduction by scientists, the U.S. State Department, the United Nations, and now the Obama administration.

"Today's announcement is a significant step forward in addressing the urgent challenge of climate change," said Dr. Paul Gilman, Covanta Energy's chief sustainability officer. "Recent research demonstrates that sustainable waste management is a critical tool in our arsenal, with the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by one billion tons of carbon equivalents every year by 2050 through energy savings and landfill methane avoidance. That reduction is quite significant -- the equivalent of building two million wind turbines or shutting down 1,000 large coal power plants."

Landfills are the third leading source of methane emissions in the U.S. The path to reducing these emissions is already well proven -- the European Union (EU) has already seen significant reductions in GHG emissions through sustainable waste management. Through a focus on recycling, composting, and energy recovery, the EU has already cut its waste sector emissions by a third. 

Energy recovery is a critical component of the reductions achieved in the EU and has significant potential in the U.S. According to the U.S. EPA, every ton of municipal solid waste processed at an Energy-from-Waste facility instead of a landfill reduces lifecycle GHG emissions by one ton of carbon dioxide equivalents. This is possible due to the avoidance of methane from landfills, the offset of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel electrical production, and the recovery of metals for recycling. Covanta's energy-from-waste facilities annually offset approximately 20 million tons of greenhouse gases, the equivalent of the carbon sequestered by planting 460 million trees. 

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About Covanta Energy
Covanta Energy Corporation is an internationally recognized owner and operator of Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects and a recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Covanta's 44 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 20 million tons of waste into 9 million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and create approximately 9 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit