Many observers fear that the vote to leave the EU will result in the dilution of measures to protect the environment. This doesn’t have to be the case.
The outcome of the EU referendum on 23 June has given rise to much uncertainty for many businesses, including in the low-carbon sector. This is understandable given that many laws on climate change, energy and the environment have been shaped by the UK’s membership of the EU.
Membership has also, on balance, provided benefits to UK businesses when it comes to environmental laws. While not perfect, EU environmental rules have provided a more level playing field with competitor businesses in the EU, which are all subject to the same rules. They have also helped drive environmental innovation by introducing standards, such as on energy efficiency and sustainable wood sourcing, applicable across the single market and its 500 million consumers.
So what does the Brexit vote mean for the environment and the low-carbon economy? Some observers fear that the vote to leave the EU will result in a significant dilution of measures to protect the environment and support the growth of the low-carbon economy. Yet, this doesn’t have to and mustn’t be the case.
An ambitious climate policy is now essential
It’s important to remember first of all that an argument repeatedly made by the Leave campaign was that the UK needed to look...