The harder the Brexit the worse the climate impact?

IIEA6th July 20172min
In the wake of the US announcement that it will leave the Paris Climate Agreement, the UK’s decision to leave the EU is the last thing the international community needs. Not only could Brexit have a profoundly destabilising impact on global momentum to address climate change, the harder the Brexit, the greater the magnitude of the potential repercussions.

 UK Prime Minister Theresa May will apparently raise the issue of climate change with President Donald Trump this weekend when they meet at the G20 summit in Hamburg. She might well bear in mind the damaging impact Brexit will have for climate protection.

In the wake of the US announcement that it will leave the Paris Climate Agreement, the UK’s decision to leave the EU is the last thing the international community needs. Not only could Brexit have a profoundly destabilising impact on global momentum to address climate change, the harder the Brexit, the greater the magnitude of the potential repercussions.

The negative consequences ripple out from the loss of UK influence at the EU negotiating table. The EU has traditionally led the world on climate policy, excepting a short interlude over the second term of the Obama Administration. The EU and China are now the glue holding the increasing fragile Paris Climate Agreement together.

We explore these issues in more detail in our policy brief, launched today, which explores the political impacts for climate change within the UK, at the EU level and globally, under four scenarios:

1.      Remain: reversal of the decision to leave

2.      Soft Brexit: the UK remains in the EU single market and customs union

3.      Hard Brexit: the UK leaves single market and the customs union

4.      Ultra-Hard Brexit: like Hard Brexit but followed by domestic roll back of environmental legislation

The full report can be downloaded here.