How Brexit might jeopardize the Paris Agreement on climate change

ClimateWire reports: One of the first questions to be settled is how Brexit will affect Europe’s commitment to last year’s landmark Paris climate agreement. The European Union put forward a combined promise to cut emissions at least 40 percent compared with 1990 levels by 2030, and Brussels planned to spend the summer divvying that responsibility up among its members in preparation for joining the deal. But the impending departure of the European Union’s second-largest emitter throws a monkey wrench in that plan.

Member of Parliament Barry Gardiner, the Labor Party’s shadow energy and climate minister, told ClimateWire that Brexit could jeopardize the global warming accord.

“The implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate may now be seriously undermined,” he said, noting that the United Kingdom played a leading role in pushing for greater E.U. ambition ahead of the deal and also acted as a bridge between Western European powers and Eastern and Central European countries like coal-dependent Poland on climate and other issues.

The United Kingdom is on a pathway to cut its emissions 57 percent by 2030 under a 2008 domestic law—a trajectory that would have gone a long way toward delivering the European Union’s collective commitment.

That raises the question of how the United Kingdom will formulate its own contribution to the Paris Agreement now that it is leaving, and how that exercise will affect the rest of Europe. [Continue reading…]

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