Climate activists to take government to court over net zero retreats

Central Government, Climate Crisis, Fossil fuels

Barry White

Climate activists to take government to court over net zero retreats as campaign groups have confirmed they are mounting further legal action in the High Court next February against the government, following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement last month that he is watering down key climate policies.

The groups, Client Earth, Friends of the Earth and Good Law Project, said that there were already concerns over the government’s ability to meet the targets even before Mr Sunak’s backsliding on green policies. The groups are now demanding the government details how it will meet carbon targets set at five-year intervals as required under the Climate Change Act 2008.

Climate activists to take government to court with the Good Law Project releasing the following statement on 6 October

“Rishi Sunak and the Net Zero Secretary, Claire Coutinho have declared they want a more honest conversation about how we tackle the climate emergency. But we are seeing the opposite”. 

“Instead of being transparent, the Government is refusing to let the public and Parliament see its own assessments of whether the policies it’s come up with will actually achieve our net zero targets”.

“During our legal action so far, we have forced the Government to confirm the existence of these assessments – known as the ‘risk tables’ – but it is refusing to publish them”. 

“It’s vital that we can see and scrutinise these risk tables. Because without that it’s impossible to tell whether the policies are effective or not”.

“Even before Rishi Sunak’s recent rowing back on green pledges, we knew the Government’s current roadmap was unlikely to get us to net zero by 2050. And with Sunak’s latest row back we are drifting yet further away from meeting our legally-binding climate duties”.

“We are now going to court to find out just what Ministers are trying to hide. This is part of a joint legal challenge with Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth against the Government over its latest inadequate and unlawful net zero plan. The hearing will be heard over three days from 20th February next year”.

“And we’re keeping the pressure up. We’ve also recently written to the Government demanding answers on just how Ministers expect to hit net zero when key climate policies are being watered down.”