Scottish Environment Minister warns of Brexit power grab threat to EU climate change targets

The Scottish Environment Minister has warned that any ‘watering down’ of EU environmental standards after Brexit by the Brit-Govt. would be “completely unacceptable.

Speaking at a meeting in Brussels with environmental NGO leaders from across Europe, Roseanna Cunningham, MSP, was taking part in a conference to discuss shared priorities to maintain high standards of protection for the environment as well as climate ambition following Brexit.

As well as maintaining existing standards, Cunningham said that Scotland must have the option of going beyond those set at the EU level.

She said: “Leaving the EU must not provide an excuse to lower environmental standards in Scotland, the UK or Europe – any attempt do so would be completely unacceptable.

Roseanna Cunningham, MSP
Roseanna Cunningham, MSP

“The EU has been a significant driver of environmental policy and legislation for the last 40 years and maintaining, as a minimum, EU standards is essential to ensuring our aim for continued access to the single market.

“We must continue to do our utmost to protect environmental standards and have the option to enhance environmental legislation as the Scottish Parliament so wishes, in order to protect our natural heritage and progress our world leading low carbon ambitions. Any common frameworks must therefore be negotiated and agreed between Governments – not imposed.

“The meeting with the Green 10 was constructive and we look forward to future engagement with all similar minded stakeholders to ensure that Scottish concerns are understood and taken account of as part of the Brexit process.”

The Green 10 is an affiliation of ten of the largest European environmental organisations and comprises: BirdLife Europe; CEE Bankwatch Network; Climate Action Network Europe; European Environmental Bureau; Friends of the Earth Europe; Greenpeace European Unit; Health and Environment Alliance; Naturefriends International; Transport and Environment; and the WWF European Policy Office.

26 Sept 2017

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