8 Jun 2016

EU environmental benefits justify "Remain" vote says Green Party


The Green Party has called on voters who care about the environment and tackling climate change to vote for the UK to remain in the European Union.

The party's leader, Natalie Bennett, is taking this message around the country as Greens for a Better Europe begins its final campaigning push [1].

Bennett will say that collective standards across Europe can ensure that all governments - particularly our own, with its dreadful environmental record - meet the need for action on climate change and other environmental crises that we face - crises that don't stop at national borders.

She'll also highlight how the politicians running the Leave campaign have an abysmal record on the subject, including Michael Gove, who attempted to remove climate change from the school curriculum.

Bennett said:

"In environmental diplomacy, the EU as a whole is far more effective than member states could be individually in developing and promulgating cooperation, long-term approaches, and motivating others into action.

"The current UK government has taken actions, in particular on renewables policy, that have seen Britain slide disastrously in the league tables for attractiveness to clean energy investors and damaged small businesses and job prospects. But thanks to the collective peer pressure from our European partners, the UK government has indicated that it will aim to improve in areas of home heating and transport, where it so often falls behind

"When one EU country, for example the UK, moves in the wrong direction, this can be challenged by cooperative action. For example the European Parliament has called for a fracking moratorium and for chemicals legislation that can also act as a check on this government's fracking ambitions.

"On climate diplomacy, the UK benefits from enhanced representation in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, being both a party as the UK and again as an EU member.

"The Brexit campaign leadership is dominated by climate sceptics, with a terrible track record of attacking renewable energy and undermining climate action. They deny the scientific evidence on climate change, just as they deny the economic and environmental risks of leaving the EU.

"Michael Gove tried to remove climate change from the national curriculum, an indefensible attempt to prevent our young people being informed about the overwhelming scientific consensus on the subject. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage and UKIP want to abolish the Climate Change Act and have expressed total opposition to wind power [2]."

The Green Party's campaign is also focusing on celebrating the free movement of people in the EU, on our membership's central place in maintaining and enhancing workers' rights, and on the capacity and actions of the EU in reining in the abuses of tax-dodging, low-paying multinational companies.

[1] https://www.greenparty.org.uk/europe

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