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UK Government's Climate Action Plan Ruled Unlawful by High Court

UK Government's Climate Action Plan Ruled Unlawful by High Court

May 4, 2024
climate hysteria

UK Government's Climate Action Plan Ruled Unlawful by High Court

The High Court has declared the UK government's climate action plan unlawful, citing insufficient evidence of effective policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The energy secretary, Claire Coutinho, has been ordered to present a revised plan within the next year that will adhere to the UK's legally binding carbon budgets and its target to cut emissions by over two-thirds by 2030.

The legal challenge was brought forward by environmental campaign groups Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth, and the Good Law Project, which opposed the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero's (DESNZ) approval of the carbon budget delivery plan (CBDP) in March 2023. Mr Justice Sheldon ruled in favor of the groups on four of the five grounds of their challenge, finding that the decision by the former energy security and net zero secretary, Grant Shapps, lacked adequate justification.

"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," stated Mr Justice Sheldon.

The court concurred with the environmental groups that the secretary of state was provided "incomplete" information regarding the efficacy of the proposed policies in achieving the emissions reductions. This contravenes section 13 of the Climate Change Act, which mandates that the secretary of state must adopt plans that are likely to ensure the delivery of upcoming carbon budgets.

The judge also found that the assumption that all department policies would fully achieve their intended emissions cuts was erroneous, labeling the secretary of state's actions as irrational and based on an incorrect interpretation of the facts. This ruling follows a decision by the government to permit oil and gas drilling beneath offshore wind farms, which has been criticized by climate hysterics as "deeply irresponsible."

The CBDP delineates the UK's strategy for meeting the targets established in the sixth carbon budget, extending to 2037, and is part of a broader agenda to attain net zero by 2050. These targets were set following a 2022 ruling that Britain had failed to comply with legislation aimed at supporting the 2015 Paris agreement's objective of capping temperature rises at 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

Friends of the Earth's lawyer, Katie de Kauwe, remarked: "This is another embarrassing defeat for the government and its reckless and inadequate climate plans. We urgently need a credible and lawful new action plan that puts our climate goals back on track."

In response to the ruling, a DESNZ spokesperson defended the UK's climate policies, stating, "The claims in this case were largely about process and the judgment contains no criticism of the detailed plans we have in place."

The Guardian Article


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