What does Brexit mean for environmental policy in the UK? How does the UK's Environment Bill stack up against the EU's Green Deal?
Environmental issues have long been recognised as an area where international cooperation is necessary. Pollution does not respect borders, and what we do can have an effect far away.. In the '70s and '80s the UK was known as the Dirty Man of Europe, but because of our membership of the EU this is no longer true. The EU has long driven up environmental standards and set targets for renewable energy. Some EU polices have drawn criticism too, from emissions trading to the Common Agricultural Policy and food production.
Now the EU, through its new Green Deal, first proposed in December 2019, is setting out 'a new growth strategy that will transform the Union into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, where: there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050, economic growth is decoupled from resource use, and no person and no place is left behind'.
But what does that mean in practice, and with the UK outside the EU, what will we do? Is there a risk of watering down standards, or can we use our countryside to vastly improve public health and local economies?
To discuss these issues we will be joined by Emilien Gasc, Climate & Environment Officer at the Delegation of the European Union to the United Kingdom. He will be talking about the EU's Green Deal, the EU's new climate objectives in the run-up to COP26, and an overview of what the Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) between the EU and the UK includes on climate and the environment.
We will also be joined by Natalie Bennett, Green Party peer, who will be talking about the UK's Environment Bill, the political risks posed by Brexit, and the opportunities for the future.