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Only a ‘Remain’ Vote gives hope for cutting emissions

Published 22 June 2016 by Colin Howden

Without EU legislation to decarbonise cars, our climate crisis would now be much worse.

EU final

Transform Scotland director Colin Howden today commented on the EU referendum:

“Only yesterday it became clear that transport was now without question Europe’s biggest climate problem. [1]

“The only significant action taken to cut emissions from transport has come from Europe. Without European Union legislation to decarbonise cars, our climate crisis would now be much worse.

“It would be convenient to think that the British or Scottish governments would have taken equivalent action in the absence of this leadership from the European Union. However, there is absolutely no evidence to support this contention. Our island’s governments have instead driven up greenhouse gas emissions, whether by subsidising car use through vast road-building programmes or by promoting tax cuts for the aviation sector, the most horribly polluting form of transport.

“The EU has consistently driven progress in the protection of the environment and human health, whether that be in setting standards for water quality and air quality or in the protection of wildlife and habitats. While its institutions are clearly far from perfect, we’re certain that Westminster would have failed to drive similar protection of the environment had we been out of Europe for the past four decades.”

Howden concluded:

“Before we get attacked by indignent Brexiteers accusing us of being in the pay of Brussels Eurocrats, I’d be like to make it clear that we’ve neither asked for, not received, one Euro cent in European Union funds in the eighteen years since the founding of our organisation.”