Basel Convention R15: Co-processing operation

BACI and CEMBUREAU presented to the Ministry of environment and water the latest information and position about the revision of the Annex IV to the Basel Convention and the addition of the “R15:co-processing” operation.

The dates for the next Council Working Party on International Environment Issues (Basel Convention), which gather Member States representatives and the Commission, are:

  • 13th or 14th October (was not possible to confirm which of the two)
  • 9th November
  • 1st December

During these web-meetings the Member States representatives could propose adjustments and ask for the “co-processing” operation to be included in the EU negotiating mandate. On 4th December the European Union will submit its proposal to the Basel Convention Secretariat.

In the meantime, the web-meeting of the Expert Group of the Basel Convention took place, at international level. In the web-meeting, the EU has stated that it had changed its position and does not support the addition of “R15:co-processing” anymore. In addition, there was a strong opposition to the “R15:co-processing” from three Incineration Associations. On the other hand, several countries, such as Argentina, Canada, Australia and Japan, were very active and fully supportive in the discussions. Apart from the EU, there was no other country opposing the R15. However, as there was no consensus, no final decision has been taken.

With the above in mind, we appealed to MOEW as a National Representative, asking for the adjustment of the EU negotiating mandate and the addition of the operation “R15:co-processing”.

We understand that many National Representatives are in favour of “R15:co-processing” and thus it will be crucial that they will have an active role during the web-meetings and promote this position.

Some of the arguments which could be used are:

  • The EU proposal shall be as much as possible in accordance with the recommendations of the Expert Group at international level. Otherwise, it may not be accepted during the Basel Convention Plenary meeting. In that respect, it would be important for the EU to change back to its position in favour of R15.
  • The addition of the operation “R15:co-processing” provides legal clarity and certain environmental benefit (as described in our Q&A doc) which are the two objectives of the Annex IV revision.
  • The wastes which are directed for incineration will continue to be shipped with the operation R1 or with other operations without energy generation. Therefore, there is no actual reason for hampering the waste incineration activity by the addition of “co-processing”.