Five things the UK needs from Brexit to maintain its green targets

22nd August 2017 | Commercial Energy

The appointment of leading Brexiteer Michael Gove as Environment Secretary sparked fear among Scotland and Wales’ devolved environment ministers that Britain would see a watering down of climate targets. The ministers have since teamed up to fight to keep existing regulations after Brexit.

For the UK and Gove to really deliver a Green Brexit, here are five things that need to happen after our withdrawal from the EU:

  1. Product and efficiency standards need to be aligned with the EU – There has been talk of new trade deals, notably with the US. But if the UK were to decouple from EU standards, it risks adding complexity and costs, plus fuelling an increase in emissions in the long term.
  2. No bonfire of regulations – Brexiteers campaigned on a ticket of cutting EU red tape, but many of these regulations surround emissions – and losing them could lead to a weakening of the UK’s green agenda.
  3. Staying part of the single energy market will be important in the decarbonisation of the UK energy system – The UK is bound by the 2008 Climate Change Act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020.
  4. Remaining part of the EU Emissions Trading Systems (ETS) will also be vital for industry in the UK – This carbon trading scheme allows companies to exceed their cap by paying a penalty, and buying carbon from companies who are under the limit.
  5. Companies must stick with the EU and global direction of travel – UK companies need to align their strategy and policies towards a low-carbon economy while managing the uncertainty of Brexit.

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