–Government ordered to pay legal costs
— +CarrZee Comment
July 18, 2022
In a landmark ruling, the High Court has ordered that the UK Government’s Net-Zero Strategy is “unlawful”, with an order now in place for policymakers to flesh out the strategy with new details: Edie.
CarrZee: The fact that the Conservative government has failed to put Britain on a proper emissions-cutting trajectory while trying to get emerging countries on board with the Paris climate deal as president of COP26 is an argument against why Rishi Sunak, former chancellor, should be Britain’s next PM. For the latest on the PM race see here.
The argument against Sunak reflects his lack of global leadership.
Sunak, running for the PM’s job against several others, should have done more, including to educate Tory voters about what really will work to cut emissions in Britain and across the world — market rules need to urgently change.
Higher carbon pricing is needed now. Polluters need to pay.
Sunak probably knows what needs to be done, but has willingly allowed bad policy to extend. (To be sure, there is a chance he’s running a weird negotiation stance in the fraught global climate talks, where British people are near most to blame.)
After graduating, Sunak worked for Goldman Sachs and later as a partner at the hedge fund firm The Children’s Investment Fund Management set up by Chris Hohn and his ex-wife Jamie Cooper-Hohn, according to Wikipedia.
Hohn has been funding research into carbon credits and is apparently seeking to change the fundamentals of capitalism in favor of climate protection, alongside the UK government.
But it hasn’t happened.
See this snip from funding recipient Trove Research.
The bottom line, according to the High Court: The government failed to comply with the UK climate law around October last year.
Government Fails to Comply
The UK’s decision to cut fossil-fuel taxes in the wake of the energy crisis instead of increasing them in a focused way made a bad situation worse — and set a global example of poor policy response.
Good Law Project link here:
“The illegality of its landmark climate change strategy is a huge political embarrassment to the Government. On launch in October 2021 the Net Zero Strategy was hailed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a foreword “Our strategy for net zero is to lead the world in ending our contribution to climate change.” And by the Secretary of State, Kwasi Kwarteng: “This strategy demonstrates how the UK is leading by example, with a clear plan for the future.”
The Court has ordered that the existing strategy be fleshed out with the detail necessary for Parliamentary – and public – scrutiny within the next 8 months. And the Government has been ordered to pay our costs.”
Full Edie story unedited, for convenience:
Published 18th July 2022
The UK Government legislated for net-zero in 2019 and published its Net-Zero Strategy last October
The Government’s landmark Net-Zero Strategy, first published last October in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, has been ruled as inadequate and unlawful by the High Court, following a successful legal challenge brought by Good Law Project, Joanna Wheatley, Client Earth and Friends of the Earth.
In a judgment published on Monday (18 July), the High Court ruled that the Strategy is too vague, meaning that there were no assurances that targets listed under the Strategy, which aims to decarbonise the UK economy to net-zero by 2050, could be met.
The Court has ordered that the existing Strategy be fleshed out and amended within the next eight months. The Government has also been ordered to cover the costs of the charities that lodged the legal challenge.
The three environmental campaign groups – Friends of the Earth, ClientEarth and Good Law Project – mounted separate legal challenges to the Strategy in January.
The crux of their argument is that the Strategy, first published last October in the run-up to COP26 in Glasgow, does not detail sufficient measures for delivering the legally binding emissions targets that the UK Government is committed to. As such, it may be in breach of the Climate Change Act, which was first set in 2008 and was updated in 2019 as the Conservative government enshrined the 2050 net-zero target in law.
The Strategy notably contains no time-bound, sector-specific emissions reduction targets, as many experts had hoped it would. Concerns also persist that delivery on the ground has faced a string of challenges since 2019, including the pandemic, which has hampered the ability of local authorities and businesses to roll out low-carbon programmes.
“The dangerous heatwave this week is a stark reminder of the very real threat we face. Our infrastructure and homes were designed for a climate that no longer exists. This cannot wait. The Net Zero target must be a road map to a sustainable future – not a lie we tell our children,” The Good Law Project said in a statement.
“We are thrilled to have worked alongside our friends at Client Earth and Friends of the Earth to deliver this landmark victory.”