Brexit, cosa cambia per Energia e Ambiente

di Michele Costanzo 59

I risultati del referendum che ha portato il Regno Unito fuori dall'Unione Europea (Brexit) sono destinati ad incidere non solo sull'economia ma anche sulle politiche energetiche ed ambientali.


Il referendum sulla permanenza del Regno Unito nell’Unione Europea che si è svolto il 23 giugno rappresenta indubbiamente il colpo più duro mai portato al processo di unificazione europea. La situazione di questi giorni è caratterizzata da un inevitabile grado di incertezza legato alle gestione di un evento che non ha precedenti e che di conseguenza andrà gestito su basi in gran parte inedite. Tempi e procedure sono tutti da definire e molto inevitabilmente dipenderà dagli accordi bilaterali che sanciranno l’uscita dei britannici dalla UE. In questo contesto mentre alcuni effetti economici di breve periodo si stanno già manifestando, è molto più difficile fare previsioni sugli effetti che la Brexit avrà su energia ed ambiente, due settori il cui sviluppo negli ultimi decenni è stato coordinato e pilotato proprio dalle decisione assunte a livello comunitario.

Brexit ed energia tra UE e Regno Unito

Se quindi incertezza è la parola chiave che caratterizza questa fase, non sono mancate le analisi autorevoli che hanno definito gli scenari del dopo Brexit. La società di consulenza Frost & Sullivan ha ad esempio pubblicato un documento che analizza le possibili conseguenza dell’uscita del Regno Unito dall’Unione Europa per quanto riguarda energia ed ambiente.

Sul fronte energetico nel breve periodo il Regno Unito potrebbe andare in contro ad un aumento dei prezzi dei carburanti dovuto alla forte svalutazione della Sterlina. Questo comportamento però potrebbe essere limitato nel tempo se il governo britannico e la Banca d’Inghilterra interverranno a stabilizzare la moneta.

In una logica di medio periodo invece gli scenari sono più incerti. Come parte degli accordi per la riduzione delle emissioni raggiunti a livello europeo, il Regno Unito si è impegnato chiudere entro il 2025 le proprie centrali a carbone. Al momento non esistono indicazioni per una revisione di questo impegno, ma è chiaro anche che fuori dal contesto europeo i britannici potrebbero allentare il loro impegno.

Un discorso simile si ripete anche in tema di energie rinnovabile. Secondo Frost & Sullivan il Regno Unito difficilmente avrebbe centrato gli obiettivi sull’uso delle rinnovabili fissati per il 2020. Allo stesso tempo però è vero anche che la stessa valutazione viene fatta per più di metà degli stati UE. La Brexit in questo senso non pare alterare in maniera radicale lo scenario attuale che vede una riduzione degli incentivi alle rinnovabili ma anche la conferma dei progetti pianificati per il futuro.

La realizzazione di nuove centrali nucleari nel Regno Unito è tema molto dibattuto ed i programmi esistenti in tal senso avanzano molto lentamente. La Brexit potrebbe influire sul nucleare britannico non tanto per i modificati rapporti con la UE quanto per i nuovi equilibri politici tra i partiti del Regno.

Effetti limitati si attendono anche in tema di prezzi dell’energia, un settore in cui a dettare i livelli sono dinamiche sovranazionali come il prezzo del petrolio. A parte il già accennato discorso sulla svalutazione monetaria, anche le modifiche all’IVA locale dibattute nella campagna referendaria avrebbero effetti minimi sul prezzo finale. Gli scambi energetici con Francia, Belgio e Irlanda non dovrebbero cambiare anche dopo l’uscita dei britannici dall’Unione.

Potrebbero invece ridursi gli investimenti esteri sul mercato energetico del Regno Unito. Tra i 6 maggiori operatori sul mercato energetico britannico, 4 sono stranieri e potrebbero essere disincentivati nel loro impegno dalle incertezze innescate dalla Brexit.

Brexit e politiche per l’ambiente

L’analisi di Frost & Sullivan pone alcune interessanti riflessioni anche in tema di politiche per l’ambiente. Uno degli indiscussi meriti dell’Unione Europea è stato quello di dotarsi di leggi a tutela dell’ambiente tra le più avanzate al mondo e di aver incentivato gli stati membri a raggiungere obiettivi sempre più ambiziosi. Le direttive europee sulle acque potabili, sugli acque reflue, sul trattamento dei fanghi di depurazione, sul controllo dell’inquinamento industriale e sulle acque di balneazione hanno avuto effetti positivi sulla qualità ambientale nel Regno Unito e più in generale in tutta l’Unione.

In modo analogo le norme e gli obiettivi comunitari sul riciclo dei materiali hanno permesso al Regno Unito di arrivare ad un livello di recupero del 40%. I progetti comunitari di sostegno ed incentivo all’economia circolare fissavano inoltre l’obiettivo del 65% di rifiuti riciclati entro il 2030.

Con la Brexit gli obiettivi fissati dall’Unione verranno meno e starà quindi ai governi del Regno Unito decidere se proseguire negli impegni finora assunti o fissarne degli altri.

WWF, Brexit ed accordi di Parigi

All’indomani del referendum che ha sancito la vittoria di misura del si (leave) alla Brexit, anche il WWF è intervenuto per evidenziare le incertezze che questo risultato introduce su temi come l’ambiente, il clima e la natura. L’organizzazione ambientalista sottolinea anzitutto come l’uscita del Regno Unito posso finire per indebolire il ruolo dell’Unione Europea su temi molto complessi come il cambiamento climatico e la transizione verso le energie rinnovabili.

Il WWF esprime quindi rammarico per aver perso con la Brexit il positivo contributo del Regno Unito alle politiche ambientali dell’Unione Europea. Aumenterà di conseguenza la responsabilità degli altri paesi dell’Unione Europea nell’applicare gli accordi di Parigi (COP21), sempre più necessari per arginare gli effetti del cambiamento climatico.

Photo | Thinkstock

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