Roseanna Cunningham: Brexit puts Scotland's environment at risk

Written by Liam Kirkaldy on 13 January 2017 in News

The Scottish Government's third draft Climate Change Plan is expected to be published on Thursday

Roseanna Cunningham - credit: Holyrood

Roseanna Cunningham has warned that Brexit could threaten Scotland’s environmental interests, ahead of the Scottish Government publishing its draft Climate Change Plan.

The third draft Climate Change Plan, expected to be published on Thursday, will set out the Scottish Government’s emission reductions plans for the next few years.

But the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform has expressed concern over how Brexit could affect international cooperation on environmental issues.

Appearing in front of the Scottish Parliament’s Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Committee in June, Cunningham warned that the impact of Brexit on areas of environmental policy was a “big unknown”.


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The Scottish Government then convened a round table of experts, chaired by Professor Dame Anne Glover, to advise its Standing Council on Europe on how an exit from the EU could affect environmental and climate change policy.

Speaking ahead of the Plan’s release, Cunningham said: “The European Union has been a significant driver of environmental policy and legislation for the last 40 years. As consumers we have benefitted from EU rules and as a society we have achieved a high level of environmental protection and measures to combat climate change. This has helped Scotland progress our world leading low carbon ambitions.

“We must continue to do our utmost to protect our position as climate change leaders and to continue to play the role that we have been playing in contributing to EU-wide environmental policies. EU climate leadership and diplomacy and being able to negotiate on level terms with the USA, China and India, was central to delivering an ambitious international climate agreement.

“Next week the Scottish Government will publish its draft Climate Change Plan which will set out policies and proposals to reduce emissions and show how everyone can play a role in tackling climate change.

“This action is crucial as tackling climate change is an investment in our economy and our environment.” 

The Government’s environmental roundtable will meet again in early February.

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