Mitigation looks at the ways in which sanitation systems contribute to climate change via greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption.
Mitigation includes the introduction of WASH systems that are lower in or even reduce emissions as well as the use of systems that generate clean renewable energy from waste and create a circular economy. Heat and energy recovered from excreta and wastewater can be used within the system, reducing the need for external energy inputs. For example, the use of aerobic treatment methods or methane capture from anaerobic processes can be used as biogas for heat and power generation; micro–hydro systems can generate hydropower from within pipes.
However, whilst these systems and processes clearly hold great potential, many of them have so far only been used at small scale and there are challenges in terms of cost, scalability, user acceptability and the precautions needed to protect human health.