Delivering Brexit raises fundamental political, legal and administrative questions, for the environment and beyond. In this blog post, Prof Maria Lee (UCL) and Prof Liz Fisher (Oxford) discuss the issue of environmental governance and highlight three necessary steps to ensure continued accountability once outside of the European Union.
Ensuring environmental quality is a feature of all functioning democracies and thus all such democracies have environmental law. But environmental problems are never solved by a statute or a court case. Legislation does not magic away waste. A court case will not ensure the enduring protection of endangered species. What is needed is the ongoing management of complex environmental problems in a reasoned and legitimate way that both complies with, and is within, the law. That is why environmental law is as much about environmental governance as environmental standards – it is about public institutions directing, regulating, authorising, guarding, and being responsible for environmental protection.