Exiting the crises: British investment in the environment
In 2010, the UK had a net contribution of EUR 7.9 billion (GBP 6.24 billion) to the EU budget, which is 0.31% of UK Gross National Income (GNI). The investment of the EU Budget in the UK can boost local economies through strategic and coordinated actions and support public goods, such as biodiversity.
The UK government’s current position on the EU budget is to reduce it in totality. Increasing the total amount the UK receives from the budget does not help the UK as for each pound gained a proportion is lost from the UK rebate. The UK government therefore opposes any increase to any part of the EU budget.
Most of the public money for biodiversity conservation in the UK comes through European funds. The largest single source being for agri-environmental payments.
Furthermore, the EU and the UK have made international commitments to finance global biodiversity, climate change, and resource efficiency challenges. Yet they also fail to ensure this is achieved in Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) and Outermost Regions (ORs). The UK’s overseas territories contain a large percentage of its endemic species in fragile island ecosystems. Allowing EU funds to be used in these areas would enable the EU and the UK to better meet their environmental commitments.
The EU Budget is a rare opportunity to ensure that scarce taxpayers’ money is used to enhance the quality of life of its citizens. To do this, Europe must rise to the challenge of tackling climate change and biodiversity loss.