The European Union & the Environment

James Walsh aka The Mancunian Birder takes a look at the European Union vote from a green business perspective


My personal experience of Europe is family holidays and birding trips / EcoTourism research in Spain, Italy, Malta, Gibraltar, Greece, France, Holland & the Republic of Ireland

Recently, I visited Malta for their version of Springwatch (more like Springwatch meets Grand Theft Auto), where I travelled with trained security guards, counted birds AND gunshots as part of the course, and met Charles Gauci at Ghadira Nature Reserve again whilst watching a bullet-dodging Greater Flamingo, it was great to see some of the advances that had been made since my first trip to Malta in 1987, but distressing to see that even though Malta had joined the EU there were still severe conservation problems



Some of my concerns as an ecologist are:

– Climate change, is the EU the most appropriate partnership to take effective action ? Is the European Union the correct scale of co-operation ?

– On a local level issues such as the Salford Mosses, Pomona Docks & gaining World Heritage status for the Manchester Ship Canal

Photo: Are we more likely to #SavePomona post-Bremain or post-Brexit ?

– And on a wider economic scale, the transfer to a green economy with greater Environmental Protections & Laws

– Should the UK be giving up a decent seat at Europes’ top table ?

– Why should the UK give up so many MEPs ?



How can we build a Northern Greenhouse – a new clean, green North ? Is Brexit or Bremain the better option for building a sustainable & democratic North based on renewable energy, sustainable agriculture and EcoTourism ? How important is the EU vote for the North ? What is the green business case for Bremain ? Would Brexit harm the UKs’ fledgling EcoTourism industry ? Would fracking be more likely ?

The North England floods around the turn of the year, and the recent Northern European floods once again bring climate change issues to the fore, and gives the people of the U.K. the opportunity to think about climate change and the environment in relation to the EU vote

Is the North better in ? out ? or shaking it all about ? Could we actually have better environmental laws post-Brexit ? Or would it take a genuine social r/evolution for this to happen ?

Can we look at key species and work out what the future would look like post-Bremain / post-Brexit eg the Northern Lapwing – what would the effects be on this iconic species ?

There is no doubt that the EU debate is a very complex one, Friends of the Earth, RSPB and World Wildlife Fund support Bremain, alongside corporates such as Peel, whilst there is a socialist case for #Brexit and what is the best situation for the Renewable Energy industry – is it a Yes vote and increased EU funding & technological support ?

Mr Corbyn, the Labour Party leader and the grassroots figurehead for #Bremain, recently referred to migratory birds as a reason we need to work together as a European Union

The prime example is the European Turtle Dove, as Mr Corbyn says “what is the point of us trying to save the species’ summer habitat here in the UK when they are being shot on migration in Europe?”

Can we build a new Europe ? Many are saying Jez We Can!


One thought on “The European Union & the Environment

  1. It seems to me the argument regarding European shooting is irrelevant. The shooting will continue whether we are in or out of Europe. as to why we should work in a positive way locally, whatever happens elsewhere, Greens have always looked at the moral imperative before considering what can make action more effective.

    Where I am far less sure is whether there is any “socialist” case for exit. In my opinion there is not. To dismiss the EU as a right wing global market-hungry body may have more than a grain of truth, but two questions remain – firstly is the UK not more right-wing, more global-market antiregulation dah dah dah, than Europe? Without any check with Brexit are we likely to see a massive and unprecedented move to the right, with extreme right wing parties gaining respectability? We would be fracked for sure. And secondly why has Europe moved to the right? It is the economic downturn, real or preceived, since 2008. And if the majority economic forecasts are correct, Brexit would be likely to precipitate a further level of damage to the British economy, again an ideal breeding ground for the right wing. I believe this the the outcome Farage and his friends want, an impoverished Britain where reaction against rising prices and rising mortgage costs will benefit his lame policy-void posturing.


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