Brexit: Another hokey cokey dance for green business?
In, out, shake it all about? One thing is for sure: green policy issues will not be high on the list of deciding factors in the build-up to Britain's EU referendum. But the outcome of the vote in June will undoubtedly have an impact on edie readers - an impact that will be even more profound if we stake David Cameron's "gamble of the century" and opt for Brexit.
It is perhaps for that reason that an understandably risk-averse audience of energy and sustainability professionals and green groups unanimously told us this week that remaining IN the EU is crucial for Britain’s transition to a low-carbon future.
Of course, the Union is by no means perfect when it comes to its oversight of green legislation – the threat of TTIP on future renewable energy development; weak diesel emissions regulations and the waste caused by the Common Agricultural Policy haven’t helped us domestically.
But on balance, the advantages of EU membership do far outweigh the disadvantages – the EU Renewable Energy Directive has spurred rapid growth in UK renewables; our waste and resource industry has undergone radical change for the better to meet ongoing European obligations; international agreements on nature conservation have proved essential for the UK’s biodiversity; and EU membership clearly strengthened our efforts in negotiations at the recent Paris climate summit.
As the Conservative Government continues its shake-it-all-about approach to domestic green policy, now is certainly not the time to pull up the drawbridge and take on the titanic challenge of climate change alone. As Oscar-winner Leo said in his acceptance speech: “We need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”
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