Could Brexit mean an ‘exit’ of environmental policies?

Could Brexit mean an exit of environmental policies or will we now have the autonomy to set our own laws and targets?   


Most of our environmental laws were drawn up with UK’s agreement in Brussels.  Proponents of the environment have often used EU laws to challenge the government on issues regarding air quality, nature, toxics and transparency. Will our policy makers continue to affirm their commitment to strong environmental laws and ensure a united action across Europe on climate change?

Many NGOs and advocates of the environment campaigned against Brexit because of the impact it would have on the environment and because a united action across national borders is very necessary on issues such pollution and climate change.

Does Brexit means:

• Any of the environmental laws such as air quality laws, which the UK has failed to comply in the past, could be weakened further or even scrapped?   

• There are major concerns about the economy and when the economy suffers, sustainability can take a back seat. 

Or:

• In this climate of political and economical uncertainty, sustainability – being adaptable and resilient to change – can be the constant that can guide both corporations and policy makers to promote innovation and growth.  This means putting sustainability at the heart of everything that we do both at the government, corporate, and individual levels. It means redrawing the targets and exhibiting best practices on sustainability because it makes financial sense.

• Brexit gives UK the autonomy to set its own targets and laws on air quality, pollution, waste recycling,  nature and climate change which can be as good as or even better than the EU laws.

• UK can still be a strong voice advocating climate policies with its European counterparts. A point reiterated by UN climate chief Christiana Figueres to an audience of business and policymakers at the annual Business & Climate summit in London today. 28 June 2016. (https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2016/jun/28/brexit-is-not-a-vote-against-climate-change-says-uns-climate-chief?CMP=twt_gu)

It is heartening to note that Amber Rudd, the former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in her address to clean energy investors in London on Wednesday 29 June 2016 after the Brexit vote, reaffirms UK’s commitment to greenhouse gas reduction targets through 2032. She also said that ‘UK’s ‘relationships with the United States, China, India, Japan and other European Countries will stand us in good stead as we deliver on the promises made in Paris’. (http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/06/29/amber-rudd-uk-will-be-a-climate-leader-post-brexit/)

 

 What do you think?


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