Op-ed: Can Brexit Work for the Environment?

Magazine cover by Barry Blitt

We’ve been reading for several weeks now in The Guardian that leaving the European Union would not be good for the United Kingdom’s air pollution problems, their landfill waste management, their wildlife conservation, and so on. Now that the vote has been made and the break will happen, Craig Bennet, CEO of the environmental justice and advocacy group Friends of the Earth, has written a piece for the British news source pleading with readers to not let a departure from the E.U. start a downward spiral on environmental issues for the U.K:

Friends of the Earth campaigned vigorously to remain in the EU. Membership of Europe has been good for our ‘green and pleasant land’, and the plain truth is that pollution doesn’t recognise national boundaries. It seems obvious to me that the best way of solving anything other than very local environmental problems is for countries to cooperate and develop solutions under a common framework.

About 70% of our environmental safeguards and legislation is European legislation – and this is now at risk. The rhetoric from some on the leave campaign indicates that, what you and I might call environmental protection, they see as ‘red tape’. That’s why today I issued a ‘red alert’ for the environment.

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