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No-deal Brexit would be a disaster for the climate, says expert

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A no-deal Brexit would hurt our efforts to mitigate climate change, an expert has said.

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Writing for Climate Change News, Dr Joseph Curtin, senior fellow at the Institute of International and European Affairs, says that leaving the EU on no-deal terms would weaken both the EU’s and the UK’s ability to reduce climate change.

He argues that the EU’s climate change response would be weakened because the UK heavily influences EU targets for decarbonisation. He says if the UK leaves and no longer has a close relationship with the EU, the continent may struggle to meet climate targets – causing its policy to become less ambitious.

He said:

“The loss of the UK’s influence at the table will be a major blow to European climate solidarity.”

He adds that a weakened EU would also stop the continent from setting an example worldwide. “This will damage the ability of the EU to project global leadership,” he says.

He also says that the UK’s ability to deal with climate change would be weakened because of the loss of EU regulation. He draws attention to the 650 pieces of EU legislation that are currently in place to protect the environment, climate, water, air quality, biodiversity and waste – adding that further regulation may be scrapped under a no deal as the government searches for ways to streamline the economy.

He also warns against the self interest and lack of cooperation that could occur under a no deal, saying:

“The EU success story is threatened by Brexit and the rise of populism.

“Against this backdrop, global emissions have surged. To reverse this alarming trend, climate advocates should make averting a no-deal Brexit their top priority.”

We agree.

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