Government will not appeal ruling Net Zero Strategy as ‘unlawful’

The government will not be pursuing an appeal against the High Court ruling which deemed its Net Zero Strategy (NZS) ‘unlawful’ back in July.

A letter was sent to the court and the parties involved in the case, including environmental organisations Friends of the Earth, Good Law Project and Client Earth, to confirm this.

The landmark ruling found the strategy was not detailed enough and was not subject to legally binding carbon budgets, forcing the government to revise the bill.

The judge said the government must update plans on how it will decarbonise the economy and include in full detail how it will fulfil climate targets.

white windmill

Friends of the Earth lawyer, Katie de Kauwe, said: ‘The government’s decision not to appeal is welcome news. Ministers must now focus their energies on the action and detailed policies needed to address the climate crisis.

‘The government has until the end of March next year to come up with a revised Net Zero Strategy that shows how the UK’s legally-binding climate targets will be met.

‘The existing strategy is far too weak. The Climate Change Committee warned in June that there are only credible policies to achieve 39% of the emission cuts needed.’

A three-month review of the NZS is currently under way, with members of the public and businesses able to give their views on how the UK can reach net zero by 2050.  

Chair of the Net Zero Review, Chris Skidmore MP, said: ‘The decisions and actions we take today will impact consumers, employees and businesses alike, in cities, town and rural communities all over the country. That’s why I want to hear the views of as many people as possible over the next month.

‘I want to ensure that net zero isn’t just viewed as the right thing to do for our environment, but becomes an essential driver of economic growth – and a win-win for Britain and the world.’

The review will be reported back at the end of 2022, but the UK’s net zero target could be put at risk as Liz Truss has committed to a range of highly polluting activities.

Katie de Kauwe continued: ‘The government has announced plans for fracking, new gas and oil developments and more roads which are the opposite of what’s needed to meet our climate targets.

‘The best way to put our climate goals back on track and ensure long-term sustainable growth, is to pull the plug on new fossil fuel developments and invest in the real solutions to the myriad crises we face: developing the UK’s immense renewable energy potential and insulating people’s homes.’

The government’s decision to not pursue an appeal comes shortly after a report by Zero Hour found the NZS is fundamentally flawed and would fail to get the UK to net zero.

Photo by Abby Anaday


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