New research published by the University of Sheffield reveals that Brexit could seriously derail European climate change efforts. The research suggests that the UK’s departure from the EU might lead to a weakening of regulations. The fear is that climate deniers all over Europe will use this weakening of regulations to gain more influence.
The University of Sheffield’s researchers refer to what they call ‘climate science denier governments’. Primarily located in central and eastern Europe, these governments will gain more overall influence if the UK leaves the EU. This is because the UK has been a leader in emissions reduction to tackle global warming.
The loss of the UK’s voice from the conversation will be harmful to the progress of clean energy technology development.
The UK a ‘Key Player’ in Climate Regulations
The research emphasises the value of the UK’s historic role as a ‘key player’ in developing stronger EU climate regulations. The UK has often set a positive example for other countries to follow via its own domestic policies.
Professorial Fellow in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sheffield, Professor Charlotte Burns, said: “The United Kingdom and European Union should be working together to meet the goals laid out in the Paris Agreement and set out roadmaps to achieve net zero carbon emissions across the continent by 2050.
“But Brexit has created uncertainty and raised the risk that the climate crisis will be pushed off the political agenda at this critical moment.”
Difficult Brexit Negotiations to Hinder Future Cooperation
Another serious issue raised by the research is the potential hindrance to future cooperation caused by difficult Brexit negotiations. One example is the UN climate change summit to be held in Glasgow in 2020. How the UK interacts with EU nations there is now in doubt as bad blood is created via Brexit negotiations.
There are also fears that the UK could be influenced by the USA’s controversial decision to abandon the Paris Agreement. The UK will obviously need a favourable trade deal with the USA, and may pander to them to achieve it. Another worry is that with no EU guidelines to adhere to, the UK may weaken its own climate regulations.
Glasgow to Host UN Climate Summit in 2020
The UK actually bid for and won the right to host the 26th climate summit. It is officially known as the Conference of the Parties or COP26. During the summit, around 30,000 delegates will attend the event being held at the Scottish Events Campus in Glasgow. The summit intends to produce an international response to the current climate emergency.
It is due to take place at the end of next year.
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