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Brexit Could Encourage British Companies To Pollute And Waste More


huffingtonpost articleThe following is an excerpt from Alexander C. Kaufman | June 25, 2016 | Huffingtonpost.com |

Splitting away from the European Union won’t just choke the British economy. British companies may end up creating more trash and dirtying the air in the wake of the Brexit, according to a new report.

When the EU’s ambitious targets for reducing waste and increasing recycling first went into effect two years ago, the United Kingdom pushed back, insisting that it would be too expensive for businesses to comply. Once negotiations to leave the EU are complete — a process that could take two years or more — U.K. legislators may scale back those regulations, found a report examining environmental and social governance at U.K. corporations from investor research firm Sustainalytics.

“Recycling rights in the U.K. trailed off in the last few years,” Doug Morrow, a Toronto-based associate director at Sustainalytics who co-authored the report, told The Huffington Post. “We wouldn’t be surprised if we found a relaxation of the recycling targets.”

Companies polluting the air in England may be able to breathe easier, too. In memos leaked to The Guardian in May, Rory Stewart — the Conservative environment minister under Prime Minister David Cameron, who announced his resignation in the wake of the Brexit vote — urged British members of the European parliament to undermine new EU regulations on air pollution by pushing for an amendment allowing Britain to exceed those standards. Such a change would give leeway to sectors that emit a lot of carbon into the atmosphere, such as the auto industry.

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