“Inappropriate and illegal”: campaign participants challenge “inadequate” Net Zero strategy

The government’s efforts to decarbonise Britain’s economy are “inadequate and illegal”, according to a lawsuit against its Zero Volume Strategy (NZS), which is now scheduled for trial.

Three groups of the company – Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and the Good Law Project – raised some challenges, questioning the legitimacy of the strategy in January. The High Court decided to hear them simultaneously in the Royal Court on the Strand at a hearing scheduled for two days.

In what could become a landmark legal case, a lawsuit could lead to a High Court ruling that the government’s climate plans are inadequate and need to be strengthened.

The groups will argue that the government has failed to meet its legal obligations under the Climate Change Act to develop a climate policy that will ensure compliance with the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets.

Lawyers representing the three organizations argue that the Net Zero strategy does not provide enough information on how its policies will provide the emission reductions needed to achieve the UK’s legally binding climate targets. The strategy, published late last year in the run-up to the COP26 climate summit, does not quantify the impact of its policies on emission reductions or the timing of reductions, so it is impossible to know what impact it will have on achieving climate goals, campaign participants say.

Friends of the Earth lawyer Katie de Cowwe warned that the lack of details in Net Zero Strategy is an “alarming omission in terms of transparency and accountability.”

“We argue that Net Zero’s government strategy is flawed, inadequate and illegal,” she said. “It does not say what emission reductions his policy will achieve and when it will happen.

“The Secretary of State is required by law to comply with our future carbon budgets. Warm words and a theoretical delivery route are simply not good enough to reduce emissions. ”

Friends of the Earth, which led a successful campaign to pass the Climate Change Act, has already succeeded in one of the reasons for its legal challenge, and the government has acknowledged that it acted illegally without considering the impact of the Heat and Construction Strategy on people. with protected characteristics such as the elderly, people with disabilities and people of color.

Joe Maugham, director of the Good Law Project, said: “For a strategy to make sense, it has to be concrete and quantitative, otherwise it will just be a wave. The government is talking about a good game, but doesn’t really define how we we will reach pure zero. If you evaluate it by its actions, you see further investment through the tax system in fossil fuels. “

At the time of publication, the government was considering a request for comment on the legal case.

However, ministers have long argued that the strategy includes a number of policies that will rapidly accelerate the process of decarbonisation of the UK, allowing it to achieve its medium and long-term climate goals.

The news came just a day after ClientEarth, Friends of the Earth Europe, Food & Water Action Europe and the CEE Bankwatch Network launched a separate lawsuit against EU support for 30 proposed gas projects.

Campaign groups have to claim that the EU Commission has given these carbon projects VIP status, which is contrary to its legal obligations. The groups were able to take legal action through a request for an internal audit, a mechanism that is now open to NGOs and the public after a major reform of EU legislation on access to justice last year.

The case is the focus of the EU Commission’s list of priority energy infrastructure projects considered useful for the whole bloc, which includes a wave of gas projects that critics say run counter to the EU’s legally binding climate targets.

Four organizations are asking the EU Commission to reconsider the decision, which approved the list of projects and gave the 30 proposed gas projects priority status.

“This list is a VIP pass for fossil gas in Europe, if we have to talk about its phasing out,” said ClientEarth lawyer Guillermo Rama. “The Commission has not considered the impact of methane emissions from gas infrastructure projects – despite evidence that they are significant. This is illegal, as it is directly contrary to the EU’s own climate law and its legal obligations under the Paris Agreement.”

https://www.businessgreen.com/news/4050871/flawed-unlawful-campaigners-advance-legal-challenge-inadequate-net-zero-strategy “Inappropriate and illegal”: campaign participants challenge “inadequate” Net Zero strategy

Back to top button