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CCAP Partners with CCAC and ImplementaSur to Reduce Methane Emissions from Organic Waste in LAC

The project will support 3 LAC countries under the expanding Recycle Organics program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – CCAP is teaming up with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) and ImplementaSur to set Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) countries on a clear path towards achieving the Global Methane Pledge of a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2030. The project marks the ninth waste management collaboration under the Recycle Organics (RO) program launched by CCAP and ImplementaSur. This project will be the third RO collaboration with CCAC since expanding the program to the Maldives and Togo earlier this year.

Reducing Methane from Waste in LAC

Currently, the RO program is also funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Global Methane Hub. During the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 2023 LAC Climate Week (LACCW) this week, the RO program and its partners additionally launched two new initiatives: the Community of Practice (CoP) on the reduction of methane emissions from organic sources with LEDS LAC, and the Too Good to Waste program with the Inter-American Development Bank—extending RO’s support to 19 countries around the world.

“The waste sector accounts for 18% of global methane emissions, and addressing the organic fraction of waste is key to bringing countries closer to a circular economy that makes productive use of the waste they generate, while creating new green jobs and reducing methane emissions—it’s a win-win,” said CCAP Methane Mitigation Program Manager Brooks Shaffer.

“As the Recycle Organics program continues to expand around the globe, it’s important for our team to sustain the momentum in the LAC region, where it all began," he added. "With ongoing support, recent policy and project successes in key countries like Chile and Colombia can be replicated and present significant opportunities for positive ripple effects and the lowering of emissions across the region.”

This project will support three LAC countries to identify cost efficient implementation measures and fit-for-purpose policy and regulations to advance the implementation of country-specific projects. The three supported countries will be selected in collaboration with CCAC, based on criteria such as the level of political engagement and mitigation potential. LAC countries have substantial potential for reducing methane emissions, as waste streams in the region contain a significant percentage of organic waste. This fraction of the waste stream, if not properly managed, will decompose, emitting methane gas into the atmosphere—a significant contributor to near term climate change. Furthermore, mitigating human-caused methane emissions is one of the most cost-effective strategies to rapidly reduce the rate of warming and substantially contribute to global efforts in keeping the world below 1.5°C.

Considering the vast amounts of methane emissions stemming from organic waste in the region, LAC countries are seeking mitigation opportunities to support commitments under their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the UNFCCC.

In the LAC region, there are local and regional initiatives focusing on recycling, anaerobic digestion, composting and other technologies that are relevant for cutting methane emissions, but those efforts are often disparate and not linked to national climate and development goals. In addition to releasing methane emissions, the lack of specific treatment options and recovery measures is causing consequential environmental issues at final disposal sites, such as decomposing organics at landfills, attracting pests and creating a vector for the spread of diseases.

This new initiative has three components:

  1. Identifying and prioritizing a sustained pipeline of projects and establishing investment plans in each target country,

  2. Developing policy packages of national policies and plans to create enabling conditions in targeted countries,

  3. Promoting replication, knowledge sharing and capacity building by developing a guidebook based on lessons learned for other countries to create their own project pipelines and enhance their policy frameworks following best practices in the region. The project will target actions such as soil regeneration, reduced food consumption footprints, economic development for a circular economy and the creation of new waste sector business models, including the diversification of employment opportunities.

Lanfill Gas Capture

In the region, a growing number of countries and local governments are starting to make progress in promoting the prevention of food waste and food loss and improving organic waste management, shifting from a reliance on landfilling to advancing the implementation of policies and projects that contribute to sustainable waste management. Building on this momentum brings forth additional economic activities and other future opportunities such as capturing methane emissions and converting them to renewable energy, which can help countries phase out fossil fuels and create long-term sustainable jobs.

Achieving major reductions in methane emissions from the waste sector requires the development of multiple initiatives, including minimizing food loss and waste, landfill gas destruction projects, as well as organic waste valorization through processes such as composting and anaerobic digestion, among others. Overall, more efficient waste management policies and practices implemented across the region will support countries in reaching their sustainability goals, becoming more climate resilient and safeguarding their natural resources and heritage for generations to come.

More on the Recycle Organics Program

The underling goal of the Recycle Organics program is to help the countries it supports achieve the Global Methane Pledge of reducing their methane emissions by 30% by 2030, while bringing significant environmental, economic and social benefits to local communities. The Program focuses on policy and projects, helping to create enabling conditions for a sustainable expansion of organic waste treatment technologies and develops a community of practice within the regions it supports.

Recycle Organics has a particular focus on working with developing countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), which have historically contributed the least to climate change but are typically hit the hardest by its cascading effects. Many of these countries are especially vulnerable to extreme heat, intensified storms and flooding because of the warming planet, making the goals of the Paris Agreement to keep warming below 1.5°C evermore critical.

About the CCAP Methane Mitigation Program

The overarching goal of the CCAP Methane Mitigation Program is to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the waste sector by advancing policies, programs and projects that contribute to sustainable waste management. In addition to its work with Recycle Organics, CCAP previously led the CCAC Latin American Regional Waste City Network—a network of 24 of the largest cities in the region to build the capacity of waste stakeholders at the municipal level—to provide a forum for participants to share best practices and learn from others in the region and help cities prioritize MSW actions and measures.

CCAP is also developing a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) to reduce methane emissions from the waste sector in Peru, under the Mitigation Action Facility. The goal of Peru’s Waste NAMA is to reimagine the country’s waste sector from a system that relies on final disposal to one that introduces circular economy concepts and strives to reduce and capture methane emissions from organic waste and convert them to useable products such as compost, biogas and electricity.

About ImplementaSur

ImplementaSur is a leading Chilean-based consulting firm in climate management. It promotes concrete actions to manage the risks derived from climate change and provides expert technical advice to public and private sector organizations, helping them generate value in the context of the climate crisis.

Striving for a safer, more sustainable and resilient planet, ImplementaSur designs strategies and supports the implementation of mitigation and adaptation actions in projects in Chile, Latin America and other countries around the world. ImplementaSur also led the design and implementation for the initial Reciclo Orgánicos program.

About CCAC

CCAC is a voluntary partnership of over 160 governments, intergovernmental organizations and non-governmental organizations founded in 2012.

CCAC is the only international body working to reduce powerful and dangerous SLCPs – methane, black carbon, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and tropospheric ozone – that drive both climate change and air pollution.

CCAC and its partners work together towards a common goal of reducing global warming in the near-term to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement and support economic development, improved health and environmental and food security benefits.

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CCAP’s mission is to support every step of climate action, from ambition to implementation. A recognized world leader in climate policy and action, CCAP creates innovative, replicable climate solutions, strengthens capacities, and promotes best practices across the local, national, and international levels to accelerate the transition to a net-zero, climate resilient future. CCAP was founded in 1985 and is based in Washington, DC.


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