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UK’s Brexit Vote Could Reverse Environmental Protections and Contribute to Climate Change

By the slimmest of margins, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. The controversial move—widely called ‘Brexit,’ short for British exit—kicked off a series of troubling events. Stock markets crashed and Prime Minister David Cameron announced he will resign before October. The ramifications of the UK’s departure from the EU will be widespread, including potentially devastating setbacks for environmental initiatives.

Leading up to the in-out referendum, the UK’s efforts to advance environmental protections had slowed. Now, concerns are increasing over the country’s future commitments to cutting pollution and combating climate change. Also unknown is the future leadership’s stance on protective measures for wildlife, support for agriculture, and investments in renewable energy. Recently, the UK has been making significant progress in green energy, particularly in the solar power industry which produced 50 percent more energy last month than the country’s coal power plants.

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