High Court Rules UK Government’s Climate Plan Unlawful – Again

The High Court ruled the UK government’s climate action plan unlawful for the second time, prompting calls for a much-needed revision to meet its emissions targets. Here’s the full story.

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Artem Zarubin

As the climate emergency continues to heat up, with an unseasonably wet spring leaving some food rotting in the ground to the dismay of the country’s farmers, the UK government has decided to roll back on its climate plans and focus more on cracking down on environmental protesters. 

Twice Unlawful

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Wasan Tita

However, in a landmark ruling, the High Court has delivered a significant blow to the government’s attempts to rescind its climate commitments, declaring them unlawful for a second time. 

Legal Challenge

Image Credit: Shutterstock / VesnaArt

The legal challenge, spearheaded by environmental groups Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth, with the support of the Good Law Project, took the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) to court over its approval of the government’s carbon budget delivery plan (CBDP). 

“Not Justified”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alexandros Michailidis

In his ruling, Mr Justice Sheldon criticised the decision by former Energy Security and Net Zero Secretary Grant Shapps to approve the plan, which the judge said was “simply not justified by the evidence.”

“Mistaken Understanding”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

Mr Justice Sheldon stated, “If, as I have found, the secretary of state did make his decision on the assumption that each of the proposals and policies would be delivered in full, then the secretary of state’s decision was taken on the basis of a mistaken understanding of the true factual position.”

“Incomplete” Information

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Spinningtop

Mr Justice Sheldon upheld the environmental groups’ contentions, finding that the Secretary of State had been given “incomplete” information which incorrectly assured them that the government would meet its emissions targets, as stipulated under the Climate Change Act. 

Revised Plan

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Africa Studio

The court’s decision will force the government to reassess its climate action strategy, giving it 12 months to develop a revised plan that meets the government’s climate goals, all of which it is way off on achieving. 

“Embarrassing Day”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Claudiovidri

Environmental advocates hailed the court’s decision to vindicate their efforts to hold the government accountable for its climate commitments. They said it was an “embarrassing day for the government.”

“Meet All Our Climate Targets”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / William Barton

Tony Bosworth of Friends of the Earth told the BBC, “What we now need to see is a climate plan which is robust, which is comprehensive and which is fair, which makes sure we meet all our climate targets, and which does that in a way which doesn’t leave anybody behind.”

“A Government That’s Failed”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / wellphoto

Friends of the Earth’s lawyer, Katie de Kauwe, stated, “This is another embarrassing defeat for the government and its reckless and inadequate climate plans. We’ve all been badly let down by a government that’s failed, not once but twice, to deliver a climate plan that ensures both our legally binding national targets and our international commitment to cut emissions by more than two-thirds by 2030 are met.”

“Hugely Proud”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Salivanchuk Semen

In response to the ruling, the government attempted to defend its track record on climate change. A DESNZ spokesperson said of the ruling, “The UK can be hugely proud of its record on climate change. Not only are we the first major economy to reach halfway to net zero, we have also set out more detail than any other G20 country on how we will reach our ambitious carbon budgets.”

“Shared Goal”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / create jobs 51

They continued, “The claims in this case were largely about process and the judgement contains no criticism of the detailed plans we have in place. We do not believe a court case about process represents the best way of driving progress towards our shared goal of reaching net zero.”

“New Low”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture

However, opposition figures jumped on the ruling, with Ed Milliband, the Shadow Energy Secretary, stating, “This is a new low even for this clown show of a government that has totally failed on energy and climate for 14 years. Their plan has now been found unlawful twice – once might have been dismissed as carelessness, twice shows they are incapable of delivering for this country.”

“Paying the Price”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Martin Bergsma

He continued, “The British people are paying the price for their failure in higher bills, exposed to the dictators like [Vladimir] Putin who control fossil fuel markets. Only Labour can tackle the climate crisis in a way that cuts bills for families, makes Britain energy independent, and tackles the climate crisis.”

“Not Good Enough”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Rupert Rivett

Caroline Lucas, the lone Green Party MP, stated, “Once again the government’s climate plan has been ruled unlawful. When dealing with the climate emergency, simply ‘hoping for the best’ and putting your faith in unproven technologies and vague policies is not good enough – we need concrete plans and investments and there is no time to lose.”

“Back to the Drawing Board”

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Tupungato

She continued, “The government must now go back to the drawing board and urgently pull together a credible plan to put the UK back on track to delivering our climate commitments.”

On the Back Foot

Image Credit: Shutterstock / ESB Professional

The ruling has left the British government fully on the back foot. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent decision to approve 100 new oil and gas exploration licences is now being shown as a reckless and unnecessary move, as outlined by the International Energy Agency. 

Stark Reminder

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Keshi Studio

As the world grapples with the impending climate catastrophe, this most recent ruling serves as a stark reminder of the need for concerted action to hold governments accountable for their climate goals. 

Uncertain Future

Image Credit: Shutterstock / Nettles and Weeds

It remains to be seen whether this pressure from environmental groups will force the government to meet its net zero targets by 2050.

The post High Court Rules UK Government’s Climate Plan Unlawful – Again first appeared on Swift Feed.

Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Spinningtop.

Leave a Comment