The Environment Secretary pledged to “maintain and enhance” environmental standards under a “green Brexit”.
Early next year he will launch a public consultation on setting up a statutory watchdog to replace the European Commission as “green overseer”.
Mr Gove accepted that the EU has helped to improve the environment through directives that protect habitats and endangered species.
But he said the EU’s common fisheries and agricultural policies have “damaged” the environment.
In a newspaper article he wrote: “We will deliver a green Brexit, where environmental standards are not only maintained but enhanced.”
The article is seen as a move to appease environmentalists, who fear a Brexit bonfire of EU red tape that will open the door to polluters and developers.
The Executive Director of the Green Alliance, Shaun Spiers, tweeted that it was “very encouraging to hear Michael Gove reject US suggestions that we weaken standards post-Brexit”.
Mr Gove also insisted the UK must be prepared for “every eventuality” during the negotiations as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.