This report from UK think tank the Centre for Policy Studies looks at
The UK has positioned itself post-Brexit as a champion of both free trade and environmental protection. This major new Centre for Policy Studies paper argues that these goals can and should be mutually reinforcing – that the UK should use its post-Brexit trading freedoms to push for green growth
The report recommends:
It also argues that the presidencies of the G7 and COP26 put the UK in a unique position to promote and coordinate international efforts on environmental action. Free markets and clean free trade can be the best way to protect the environment and promote environmental standards. Ahead of COP26 in November, this report shows how the Government can reconcile its ambitions of leading in the fight against climate change and other environmental threats while championing free trade. The report, supported by the Conservative Environment Network, highlights that international trade has been instrumental in lifting billions from abject poverty. In the 12 months before the pandemic struck, the combined value of imports and exports exceeded £1.4 trillion, equivalent to 64% of total economic output. Trade is good for the environment, it argues, as it increases production efficiency, spreads new technologies, and equips individuals with the resources needed to address environmental degradation.
The report’s author, Eamonn Ives, sets out a number of steps the Government should take to speed up decarbonisation, improve air quality and increase prosperity both in the UK and overseas. Specifically, the think tank is calling on the government to:
Eamonn Ives, Head of Energy and Environment at the CPS, said: ‘International free trade and protecting the environment are often seen as contradictory. Our report argues that they can and do support each other – and makes a series of recommendations which the Government could adopt to ensure its newly independent trade policy is one that delivers both economic and environmental prosperity. ‘As the host of the G7 and COP26, it is incumbent on the UK to be leading the debate in terms of how we can better protect the environment, and rebound from the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. By committing to Clean Free Trade, it can do just that.’Read Full Report