Updated Jul 21, 2020

Plan B launches legal challenge against UK's green recovery plan

A charity, Plan B. Earth, has launched a legal challenge against the Government's plans for green recovery, claiming that they are "clearly unlawful" and inadequate in light of the ratification of the agreements to reduce emissions.

They believe that the Government is on course to miss the opportunity to avoid an environmental catastrophe. 

The letter sent by the charity to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, states the intention for Judicial Review of the failure of the Government to give proper consideration to the UK's domestic and international climate obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008, the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change when devising and implementing the COVID Recovery Programme.

Earlier this month, the chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a £3 billion investment package, which focused on improving energy efficiency in homes and public buildings. That plan was widely criticised by campaigners, where significantly larger sums of available funding were provided to car makers and airlines as well as funding for fossil fuels in the COVID relief scheme, which could top £67 billion. That sum was also seen as a fraction of the funds provided for green recovery in other European countries.

The letter claims that the Government not only appears to be ignoring the scientific and economic advice and its legal obligations, but it is also "ignoring the evidence of popular will, in favour of short-term corporate interests" and "79% of a UK Citizens' Assembly, convened by Parliament, agreed that COVID recovery measures should be designed to support the net-zero climate target".

In February this year, the charity successfully appealed against the Heathrow expansion, which was deemed illegal by the judges, considering it was going against the UK net-zero emission target and the Paris Agreement.