Monday, 20 June 2016

Brexit/Bremain: and the green economy: "Energy and environment ministers, green NGOs and sustainable businesses groups agree that remaining IN the EU is crucial for our transition to a low-carbon future."

This blog has looked at the issues around farming and the EU:
Futures Forum: Brexit/Bremain: "The majority of farmers are keen to leave the Union and all the baggage that comes with it."

... Transition Towns:
Futures Forum: The Transition Town movement and Europe >>> >>> Brexit or Bremain?
Futures Forum: The Transition Town movement, Europe and the world

... and the South-West:
Futures Forum: How the Brexit question affects the South West >>> >>> BBC Spotlight debate @ Plymouth University: Sun 12th June
Futures Forum: Devolution and the West Country >>> Wessexit

What about the issues around 'sustainability' and the 'green economy'?
The EU Referendum, Democracy and Sustainable Development - FDSD
EU Referendum: Environmental & climate change consequences for the built environment | UK Green Building Council

IN or OUT? How the green economy will vote on Britain's EU referendum

1 March 2016, edie newsroom

Energy and environment ministers, green NGOs and sustainable businesses groups have revealed their stance on Britain's European Union (EU) membership, with the overwhelming majority agreeing that remaining IN the EU is crucial for our transition to a low-carbon future.

Brexit: What green business has to say...

With MPs squabbling over the pros and cons of 'Brexit', sustainability professionals, green business groups and NGOs wait patiently on the sidelines.

While many are refusing to represent their organisation by stepping into either camp, edie has heard from those that want their voices to be heard – and initial results suggests that, despite its potential flaws, remaining IN the EU provides unparalleled benefits for the green economy.

James Goodman, director of futures, Forum for the Future

“A British exit from the EU would be a mistake for sustainability in the UK. The EU is far from perfect but the regulation coming from the EU in myriad areas - around water and air quality to name a few - has helped to steer the UK out of a polluted post-industrial era and into – broadly speaking – one at least a little more on track towards sustainability.

“After Brexit, a government like the one we have now – one that seeks to frack for gas beneath national parks, privatise our forests, cull our wildlife – would be likely to drive a huge diesel-powered truck through much of the complex and beneficial legislation that has built up over the years. And we know through our board level relationships with some of the UK’s most progressive companies, that a Brexit would probably mean the sustainability leadership position they have been able to carve out on a global scale would be under threat. That would be bad for our economy and bad for the long-term future of British business.

“To add to all of that, the sustainable future will be based on people choosing to work together to common goals, beyond the boundaries of sector, age group or nation, recognising our fundamental interdependence. A Brexit would be a massive lurch away from ‘our common future.’”

Sam Lowe, campaigner, Friends of the Earth

"The EU has been good for UK environment and has given a boost to green business. The EU Renewable Energy Directive has spurred rapid growth in the renewable energy across the UK. In the past five years, we have witnessed the fundamental position of renewable energy shift, with lower costs and increased investment pushing it into the mainstream. What with the current government’s seeming hostility to elements of the green sector, it seems highly unlikely that renewable energy would remain a priority without EU enforcement.

“Greater energy trading and interconnectedness are essential if we are to ever see renewable energy solutions and smart grid technologies reach their peak potential. This vision of the future is almost in our grasp. And it is far more readily realised working alongside our European neighbours than against.

“Many of the existential threats we face are global in nature – be it climate change or conflict. Now, perhaps more than ever, is not the time to pull up the drawbridge and take them on alone.”

Jacob Hayler, executive director, Environmental Services Association (ESA)

“To date, the net impact of EU legislation has been positive for the waste and recycling industry, which has undergone radical change in response to the drivers implemented to meet our European obligations. Whether the UK should remain in the EU from our sector’s perspective will largely depend upon what would replace the long-term policy framework established in Brussels.

“Industry investment critically depends on certainty, a degree of which at least is provided by EU legislation. If the UK chooses to go it alone then it will be vital for the UK Government to put in place a long-term strategic vision for waste and resources that supports jobs and investment whilst boosting recycling and recovery.”

Martin Harper, director of conservation, RSPB

“The outcome of the referendum on EU membership could have significant implications for the RSPB's ability to fulfil its charitable objectives.

“Given that nature knows no boundaries - for example, birds migrate - the RSPB has always believed we need to act internationally especially as the threats - such as pollution - are often diffuse. Comprehensive international agreements for nature conservation and the environment are therefore essential.

“Evidence suggests that the EU has had a positive impact through some of its environment policies. However, there are also areas where we have concerns or feel more needs to be done. We recognise that very few issues are entirely clear-cut. However, we all want to see clean air and water for future generations, as well as an attractive countryside rich in wildlife.

“As both sides seek to clarify and present their respective visions for the future, the RSPB will challenge both the ‘IN’ and ‘OUT’ campaigns to explain how their stance will help protect and enhance the environment. Through this ‘referendum challenge’ process, we hope to help RSPB supporters and the wider public to gain greater clarity about the environmental implications of the UK remaining in or leaving the EU and to ensure that nature features in the public debate.”

Ben Stafford, head of public affairs, WWF

“As the debate ahead of the EU referendum kicks off in earnest, WWF is urging both the ‘IN’ and ‘OUT’ camps to set out how they would ensure continued strong protections for the UK’s environment – and thriving markets for sustainable business – whatever the outcome of the vote.

“Research commissioned by WWF and others suggests that, on balance, Britain’s membership of the EU has delivered benefits for our environment that would be hard to replicate in the event of the UK leaving. So whatever decision is made, it is vital that it doesn’t come at the expense of thriving wildlife, clean air and water, strong action on climate change and growing green businesses.”

IN or OUT? How the green economy will vote on Britain's EU referendum

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