Climate group loses court fight over Government's environmental policies

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

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

The Plan B Earth group said ministers had not taken “practical and effective” steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and 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.

Climate activists outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Environmental campaigning organisation Plan B Earth, its director Tim Crosland and three young activists - Adetola Stephanie Onamade, Marina Tricks and Jerry Amokwandoh
Climate activists outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London. Environmental campaigning organisation Plan B Earth, its director Tim Crosland and three young activists - Adetola Stephanie Onamade, Marina Tricks and Jerry Amokwandoh

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.”