Celebrities and lobbyists are warning British prime minister Theresa May to honor wildlife and climate commitments while others urge her to follow opposite instincts to trade deals deemed vital post-Brexit.
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Environmentalist leaders have warned the government repeatedly against rolling back commitments to the climate change crisis and end the illicit wildlife market so that these deals can be made.
Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, WWF, and high-profile figures including Will Young and Andy Murray have signed a letter urging Theresa May not to get involved in an "environmental race to the bottom" after Brexit.
The campaigners claim that they feared the green commitments would be softened to compensate for valuable bilateral trade agreements.The joint letter read, "We are alarmed by recent media reports suggesting that the U.K.'s commitments to tackling climate change and ending the illegal wildlife trade could be watered down to secure post-Brexit trade deals.
"To be a great, global trading nation, the U.K.must deliver on its promises for the environment and the climate and honor our international commitments.In doing so we will help build a greener, better and more prosperous future for everyone, rather than driving an environmental race to the bottom."
"An African elephant is killed every 25 minutes by ivory poachers," says WWF chief executive Tanya Steele, "and we are already seeing the serious impacts of climate change, with more severe weather events in the U.K. Our environment must not be sacrificed during the Brexit negotiations.The U.K.government must deliver on its promises and leave the environment in a better state for future generations rather than trading away protections for our nature and climate."