Environmental pollution does not stop at national borders. The major threats to our environment must be tackled collectively.
Our beaches are cleaner, our air less polluted, and our wildlife is far safer because of EU protections. We benefit from over 100 European laws protecting people and our environment. It is the UK government that has sought to implement fracking under our national parks, and which focuses not on the breaches of air pollution thresholds but on trying to avoid fines for the lack of action taken to protect us.
Before we were members of the EU we were known as the dirty man of Europe because of the poor quality of environment including coal-fired power stations causing acid rain and raw sewage being pumped into our seas which came back onto our beaches.
The Government has dropped some heavy hints about what would happen to our environmental rules if we quit the EU. Ministers have tried their best to water down air pollution rules, the Chancellor has said that EU nature laws place ‘ridiculous costs’ on British firms and, most worryingly of all, the Government has been vigorously stripping away support for clean energy and renewable technology in the UK in favour of a “dash for gas“.
The EU also funds action to meet these environmental standards. Last year, the Commission granted Bristol the European Green Capital award, helping showcase the largest city in our region as an investment destination for sustainable technology. Also, since the launch of the LIFE programme (a programme to fund environmental projects) by the European Commission in 1992, a total of 235 projects have been co-financed in the United Kingdom. Of these, 162 focus on environmental innovation, 66 on nature conservation and biodiversity and seven on information and communication. These projects represent a total investment of €967 million, of which €241.5 million has been contributed by the European Union.