For many years, the EU has played a leading role in green issues, imposing environmental standards on its own members and the rest of the world. But the types of sustainable development the EU promotes are influenced by the economic, social and even religious backgrounds of its member states. Enthusiasts say the EU’s ability to legislate for 28 nations has enabled it to take a global lead in combating pollution and promoting renewable energy, and that the UK’s membership has allowed it to drive international action on conservation and climate change, whereas opponents argue that many of the EU’s problems are caused by its defective policies on farming, fishing and localism. The debate in today’s third session will focus on the EU’s environmental track record and future plans for green growth, and the risks and opportunities for the UK in pursuing its own path to sustainability.
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