Guest blog by Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth
Brexit means different things to different people. But one thing we do know is that no one voted – leave or remain – with the stated intention of making things worse.
This holds especially true for the environment.
Polling over the summer – carried out by YouGov for Friends of the Earth – found that following the Brexit vote 83% of people said that Britain should pass laws providing a higher or the same level of protection for wild areas and wildlife species than current EU laws. Only 4% want lower protections.
That’s why Friends of the Earth is teaming up with other environmental groups and calling on MPs to put the environment front and centre of the Brexit debate. Specifically we are asking MPs to pledge to do everything in their power to:
- Establish the UK as a world leader on the environment by committing to match or exceed current environmental, wildlife and habitat protections;
- Ensure the UK leads on climate change by publishing robust low carbon investment plans and ratifying the Paris Agreement this year;
- Create a countryside richer in nature by supporting farmers and landowners to deliver environmental benefits alongside a thriving farming sector.
We still don’t know what comes next. But whatever happens, Brexit is not, and must not be used as, an excuse to row back on ambition and undermine European protections that have led to cleaner UK beaches, more abundant nature and healthier air and water.
Craig Bennett, Chief Executive, Friends of the Earth