Table of Contents
The European Union (‘EU’) is one of the main foundations for the majority of the environmental legislation in the UK. EU had worked in conjunction with UK in order to battle climate change (Parker, 2013).
This essay will focus on the environmental crisis and whether this event is more important than the Brexit event. This essay will discuss the threats and business opportunities that the climate change can bring to a global level. Further, it will be presented the similarities between Brexit and climate change. At the end of this essay, a conclusion will be withdrawn.
The Environmental Crisis
Climate events and the extreme weather changes had received a lot of attentiveness in the last decade due to the amplified amount of damages that have been associated with these events (Kabat and Van Schaik, 2003). However, when Brexit happened, the environmental crisis had not been a priority for both the electorate and the politicians (Scott, 2016). UK leaving the EU also influences the climate change policy in the EU and Britain. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (‘UNFCCC’) had been first agreed in 1992 and in that period of time, UK was already part of EU (Scott, 2016).
More than 71% of British people consider that environmental change such as climate change are more important from a long-term perspective rather than Brexit. It had been suggested that the government had not prioritise this issue enough (Sherwood, 2019). After Brexit, the UK might have less global influence in negotiations for instance, which also includes the climate change. This is mainly because the country will not be part of the EU.
In climate action, uk is perceived as a global leader but in order to keep this status after Brexit, UK needs to align with other regional blocs for instance which share the same policy goals. There are many matches between the climate change and the Brexit event. The timescales of both events are unclear and not many previsions can be made. Both, the Brexit and the climate change, will affect directly the daily life of individuals, business, governments and many others (Government UK, 2019).
According to Sir James Bevan, climate change is turning into an emergency. Sir James Bevan suggested that the climate change event should be perceived a higher emergency in comparison with the Brexit one (Government UK, 2019). Since the Earth formed, the climate changes happened naturally but this time, the event had been created by humans (Government UK, 2019). Since the Industrial Revolution, the amount of carbon dioxide and alike gases have massively increased due to the higher number of emissions from fossil fuels (Government UK, 2019.
The consequences of the climate change will involve more water shortages and fires, more risky flooding, more pollution as well as many other worldwide damages (Scheffran and Battaglini, 2011. All these effects need to be treated with a higher importance and need to be tackled as soon as possible (Government UK, 2019). These effects have a terminal consequence for the planet. For instance, there will be no recuperation from the rise the sea. This can be disastrous for communities, lands and infrastructures of the world (Scheffran and Battaglini, 2011).
Many companies are currently adjusting their business models in order to tackle any possible damages that can be created by climate change. Sir James Bevan emphasised the business models of various organisations can be affected by the climate change event (Government UK, 2019). For instance, the water companies can suffer due to the gap that the climate change can open up between the demand for water and the supply for it (Kabat and Van Schaik, 2003). Further, the economy of the world will also be affected due to the fact that there will not be enough water. This issue will also involve other political changes as individuals will demand more action from their leaders. Climate change is becoming one of the principal matters of the world.
In summary, the climate change is becoming one of the main worldwide issues because the planet might simply become an unpractical place for humans. This event is a threat to the environment, health, economy and future of the world (Government UK, 2019). Thus, one could argue that indeed the climate change is a problem of life and death, being much more important than the Brexit event.
The effects of climate change can be mitigated at a global level. For instance, one way of mitigating these effects is by cutting the emission of greenhouse gases. In the UK, most of the emissions come from the way the energy is produced and consumed. It comes from the heating of the buildings or from the manufacturing of goods (Government UK, 2019). People can help combat the effects of the climate change by becoming more energy efficient and by switching to renewable or low-carbon fuels (Parker, 2013). In comparison with 1990s, the emissions within the UK are lower with 43% (Government UK, 2019). Further, the economy of the country also increased from 1990s (Government UK, 2019). This is an important point that needs to be mentioned as it shows that the effects of climate change can be tackled while growing the economy of the country as well.
These reductions in emissions had been a consequence of the actions made by the UK in their fight for combating the climate change (Goodall, 2012). For instance, many coal powers stations had been closed down. Further, it can be stated that is more difficult to reduce emissions from agriculture, buildings and transport as it requires an effective infrastructure aimed at storing the remaining carbon emissions (Goodall, 2012). Thus, it would imply a stricter use of renewable energy.
However, in order to obtain a successful response to the climate change is important to change the believes and the thoughts of individuals at a global level. For instance, individuals should start planning for a suitable future which implies that they need to become responsible buyers (Parker, 2013). Nobody has all the answers to how to tackle the consequences of the climate change, but a radical change is needed in order to build a more vibrant economy and a more resilient world environment. For instance, in order to mitigate the effects of the environmental crisis, stronger flood securities can be built in order to decrease the exposure of communities along the coasts and the rivers. Additionally, a more resilient infrastructure is needed for situations when the weather is extreme (Parker, 2013).
The climate change event can also bring advantages to companies. For example, the water companies or the energy companies can start investing now in this cause in order to gain resilience later. Further, insurance companies can add prices in their policies for the climate change cause and this would be beneficial for their long-term goals (Government UK, 2019).
Investors and business planers can also benefit from the climate change. The economic benefits are far more important than the costs of adapting to the climate change. Investments in innovative technology and infrastructure can bring high profits and new business opportunities (Hallegatte, 2009). For example, a good idea would be to plan more trees which can help with the reduction of the risk of flood, the improvement of the quality of the water as well as the reduction of air pollution (Hallegatte, 2009). Some schemes can be developed, and international pension funds can invest money for planting tree in the right places.
This is an opportunity for the UK Government to develop new policies that will help in shaping a better future. For instance, the 25 Year Environment Plan launched by Michael Gove and the Prime Minister in 2018 in the UK, it implies that all the necessary steps will be taken by the government in order to diminish climate change (Government UK, 2019). This plan also implies that politicians have the chance to contribute in creating a better environment for the future. Further, this plan also involves schoolchildren, which seem to be ready to make a change. In this way, with the involvement of both politicians and schoolchildren, this movement will be much more powerful.
On the other hand, climate change also brings business opportunities for NGOs, which can recruit a new generation of individuals who can mobilise and make future generation more aware of the environment and the needs of the planet (Wright and Nyberg, 2015).
As mentioned above, both events, the Brexit and climate change, have many similarities in common. Both events bring opportunities as well as risks. Further, one could argue that the climate change should also be treated as the same level as the Brexit event. Brexit had been perceived as an urgent and important subject and many resources and energy had been devoted to it. The same amount of time and energy should be devoted to the topic of climate change.
Many arrangements had been prepared in order to maximise the effects of the Brexit event. For instance, the government and authorities prepared a No Deal exit scenario (Taylor-Gooby, 2017). This type of arrangement should also be applied in the situation with the climate change event. Another important aspect that needs to be mentioned is the fact that in the Brexit situation, the most reasonable worst-case scenarios had been used in order to predict future outcomes and to test the market (Taylor-Gooby, 2017). Questions need to be asked in order to tackle the effect that climate change could have upon the world and upon people. Doing an analysis of the future, it will help an organisation to cope better in difficult situation.
On the other hand, it is essential to use suitable language when dealing with the climate change situation. For example, in the Brexit case, the words used had generated a lot of controversial debates. That is why different words need to be used in order to get people’s attention. In the climate change situation, new phrases such as ‘climate emergency’ should be used as the phrases like ‘global warming’ are already a turn-off for people (Government UK, 2019). Further, it should be a focus on what a right response to climate change will offer to the world (such as clean air or green planet) rather than what are the negative aspects of this crisis (Government UK, 2019).
Moreover, the effects of the climate emergency can be tackled if a broad coalition will be formed. The coalition needs to be made between countries, businesses, governments as well as the third sector. Similarly, with the Brexit’s situation, the UK nation should come together and focus on tackling the effects of this environmental crisis. It had been emphasised that although Brexit had been an important topic for the British nation, people want to move on from this event (Government UK, 2019). Many individuals start being interested in something bigger and climate change could offer them that.
Brexit is an important topic and provides significant encounters for both the UK and the EU. However, as emphasised above, there are also other topics such as the environmental crisis, which seems to be more essential than the Brexit topic due to its implications in long-term perspective. Climate change is more than just a change in climate conditions. It is an increase in uncertainty for the future of the world.
That is why this subject needs to be carefully considered and it can be considered as being more important at the moment rather than Brexit.
- Goodall, C. (2012). How to live a low-carbon life: the individual’s guide to stopping climate change. Routledge
- Government UK. (2019). Climate Change: Turning emergency into opportunity. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/climate-change-turning-emergency-into-opportunity
- Hallegatte, S. (2009). Strategies to adapt to an uncertain climate change. Global environmental change, 19(2), 240-247.
- Kabat, P., & Van Schaik, H. (2003). Climate changes the water rules: how water managers can cope with today’s climate variability and tomorrow’s climate change. WaterandClimate.
- Parker, G. (2013). Global crisis: war, climate change and catastrophe in the seventeenth century. Yale University Press.
- Scott, A. (2016). Brexit: implications for climate change commitments. Briefing papers, Overseas Development Institute.
- Scheffran, J., & Battaglini, A. (2011). Climate and conflicts: the security risks of global warming. Regional Environmental Change, 11(1), 27-39.
- Sherwood, H. (2019). Climate more pressing long-term issue than Brexit, say 71% of Britons. Retrieved from https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/environment/2019/07/five-things-you-need-know-climate-change-more-important-brexit-say-uk
- Taylor-Gooby, P. (2017). Re-doubling the crises of the welfare state: The impact of Brexit on UK welfare politics. Journal of Social Policy, 46(4), 815-835.
- Wright, C., & Nyberg, D. (2015). Climate change, capitalism, and corporations. Cambridge University Press.