The waste and resources industry has been 'overlooked and left with no seat at the table' at COP26 this week, the president of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management has warned.

Dr Adam Read said the lack of waste on COP26's agenda is a 'critical oversight' as recycling and resource management has a crucial role to play in supporting decarbonisation.

He said the sector's activities results in almost 50 million tonnes of CO2e emissions being avoided across the economy every year. This is the equivalent to taking 10 million cars off British roads.

Dr Read said: 'Whilst we welcome the recent publication of the UK government’s net zero strategy and recognise COP26 is a fantastic opportunity to get global, coordinated action on climate change, the fact resources and waste has to all intents and purposes been left off the agenda has me completely stumped.'

He added: 'The fact that the UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021 (COP26) hasn’t fully recognised the integral part the resources and waste sector has to play in helping to reach net zero targets, not just in the UK, but globally, is a critical oversight on their part.'

Photo: Philip King /