The report entitled 'The potential policy and environmental consequences for the UK of a departure from the European Union' prepared by the Institute for European Environmental Policy, in collaboration with the Wildlife Trusts, RSPB and the World Wildlife Fund (March 2016) considers the potential consequences for the environment and for environmental policy of the UK choosing to withdraw from the EU, based on different scenarios for the UK’s future relationship with its neighbours. The assessment identifies potential influences on the decisions to be made in a future outside the EU, including international agreements, the changing context and already established UK policy positions. It builds on an overview of the EU’s record, particularly in developing and applying environmental policies, but also in relation to agriculture and fisheries policy. You can download the full report, here...
The following are some of the key environmental achievements of EU countries working together within a common legislative framework that would have not occurred at the same level if they had acted alone:
- A substantial decline in most industrial sources of air and water pollution, particularly in improving urban air quality and in tackling diffuse water pollution, for example from farming.
- A fall in greenhouse gas emissions and rapid recent growth in the deployment of renewable energy.
- Significant reductions in the pressures on human health from environmental pollution.
- A significantly improved system of protection for species and habitats.
- A transformation in waste management, with a major increase in recycling rates and the first steps towards the creation of a more circular economy.
- The establishment of a thorough system for the review of the safety of chemicals that can be expected to lead to the future withdrawal and substitution of various toxic substances.
- The foundations for addressing the mounting pressures on the marine environment in the form of a legislative framework which is starting to have an effect.
- Improvements on access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters at EU level.
- The wide application of environmental impact assessment and strategic environmental assessment procedures (also adapted and used by the European Investment Bank as conditions for all infrastructure investment decisions inside and outside the EU).