Environmental group loses court fight over Government’s climate policies

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  • COP26

An environmental campaign group that challenged the lawfulness of Government climate change policies has lost a High Court fight.

Plan B Earth had argued that ministers had not taken “practical and effective” steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The group wanted Mr Justice Bourne to give activists the go-ahead for a judicial review, but he refused to grant permission.

Plan B argued that climate change and human rights legislation had been breached, and claimed ministers had failed to take practical and effective measures to adapt and prepare for the current and projected impacts of climate change.

Activists wanted a declaration that ministers’ “failure” to take practical and effective measures to meet their climate change commitments arising under the Paris Agreement and the 2008 Climate Change Act breached the 1998 Human Rights Act 1998.

Plan B said it planned to appeal.

“If the courts are bound to ignore the scientific evidence of what is needed to safeguard life, then ‘the right to life’ is no more than an illusion in a political economy which privileges the safety of short-term corporate profit over the welfare of ordinary people,” said director Tim Crosland after the ruling.

“We’ll appeal to the Court of Appeal and, from there, to the European Court of Human Rights.”

Mr Justice Bourne said the contention that the 2008 Climate Change Act had been breached did not “get off the ground”.

He added: “Disagreement with the merits of those proposals and policies (etc) does not give rise to an arguable case that there has been a breach of the statutory duties.”

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