EU withdrawal from Brexit “could double UK shipping emissions”
According to a new analysis published on the eve of COP26, Britain’s post-Brexit trade transfer from the United Kingdom to countries like Australia and the United States could double the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. countries from sea transport.
Just days before the crucial climate change summit, Friends of the Earth said the results represented further proof that the government was “missing the mark on all counts” on the environmental impact of its trade policies.
Boris Johnson’s ‘Global Britain’ approach to trade deals has seen the UK strike deals with distant countries like New Zealand and Japan – as it also seeks to join the bloc CPTPPP from Pacific countries.
UK Trade and Business Commission analysis found that replacing lost trade from the EU since 2018 with imports and exports from further afield would increase annual UK-linked shipping emissions by 88%.
An additional 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide will be released into the atmosphere each year by container ships making long journeys around the world with cargo for the UK market and exports – the equivalent of 44,000 transatlantic flights , found the Commission.
To offset the emissions, a new forest the size of Northern Ireland would have to be planted.
Greens MP and Commission member Caroline Lucas said: “This would be a staggering increase in emissions – and entirely due to this government’s ideological opposition to the European Single Market.
“Time is running out in the race for our future, but the government is taking us further down the path of climate chaos, rather than completely decarbonizing our economy in accordance with climate science and showing authoritative global leadership before. the United Nations climate summit in Glasgow next week.
And, speaking to The independentFriends of the Earth trade expert Kierra Box said: “A map of the globe is not needed to note that pursuing trade deals with countries as far away as Australia will increase climate costs of transport. of goods so far.
“But it’s not just about transport emissions. With critical climate talks starting in a few hours, the government is expected to be adamant that UK imports are not responsible for destroying forests, polluting waterways or perpetuating burning of more fossil fuels abroad. It’s not just about distance, it’s also about standards and climate ambition. And the government has missed the mark here on all counts.
“A real commitment to the goals of the climate negotiations would have seen the UK prioritizing support for sustainable agriculture here, investing in relationships with countries sharing high standards similar to the UK and giving priority for trade negotiations with countries that meet or exceed their commitments under the Paris Convention. Okay – rather than the ones dragging the peloton from far away. “
Commission President Labor MP Hilary Benn added: ‘This projection of the UK’s budget watchdog is exactly what we have heard from industry experts and business leaders over the past six years. last months. The government’s deliberate obsession with making trade with the EU more difficult will leave us poorer and we will pick up the pieces for many years to come.
“As with any recovery process, the first step is to admit that you have a problem. Ministers must stop using the pandemic as an excuse, acknowledge these findings and work with businesses to improve their bad business. “
Naomi Smith of Best for Britain added: ‘The government must be frank and admit that the two possible outcomes of its current strategy involve either massively increasing our carbon footprint or not replacing the trade they have lost. which means less business, less jobs and less income across the UK.
“If they can go beyond dogma, the way forward is clear. We need to rebuild trade with Europe by improving the government’s failed deal and the UK Trade and Business Commission has made 64 proposals on how to do this.
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