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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The curious disappearance of climate change, from Brexit to Berlin

The curious disappearance of climate change, from Brexit to Berlin

The word climate does not appear once in the letter triggering the UK’s departure from Europe. Despite the world experiencing a second, successive, record annual rise in carbon dioxide concentrations, on one level the omission is hardly surprising.

When the environment minister, George Eustice, revealed that the government had commissioned no research at all on the likely impact of Brexit on environmental policy it reflected how low green issues had fallen on the political agenda. Just how far is revealed by the fact that more than 1,100 EU environmental safeguards will need translating into UK law.

Running very fast to stand still on climate change in the UK will be the best we can hope for. Up to 13 various bills need to be passed just to allow Brexit to happen, squeezing almost everything else out of Parliament’s agenda. Closing the vast gap between current climate plans and meeting the new international targets agreed in Paris in December 2015 has as much chance as a snowflake in a Westminster canteen kettle.

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