Guest essay by Eric Worrall
A British vote to exit the European Union in June would represent a blow to the 2015 Paris climate deal, the country’s top climate advisor has warned.
Former Conservative environment minister Lord Deben, who now chairs the UK Committee on Climate Change, made the comments during a talk hosted by the IPPR think tank in London.
“Brexit is a threat to Paris,” said Deben, who is a vocal campaigner for Britain to maintain its links with Brussels.
“I’m optimistic about the European Union because I think the British people aren’t so stupid to go out – but there’s a long way to go and a great deal to do and we must not leave any stone unturned,” he added.
The referendum is slated for 23 June and has already caused significant splits within the ruling Tory party.
Lord Deben’s tenure as an independent climate advisor to the UK government has attracted accusations of conflict of interest, due to Lord Deben’s substantial personal investments in green businesses.
It seems likely Lord Deben’s concerns about the Paris Climate Treaty are shared by other prominent green politicians. For example, President Obama is strongly in favour of Britain remaining a member of the European Union.