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Case update 21 June 2024

Judge gives a green light for our onshore wind challenge

Mon Jester / Unsplash

The High Court blocked our challenge to the government’s backsliding over onshore wind. But now we’ve won the chance to make the case for clean, cheap energy.

The High Court has reversed its decision on our challenge to the government’s backwards-looking policy for onshore wind, granting us permission to make the case for unleashing one of the crucial technologies to hit net zero.

Last year, the National Infrastructure Commission recommended that onshore wind should be added to the list of projects with national significance “as soon as possible”, so that it could be fast-tracked through the planning process. But the government left it out without giving any reasons.

We launched a challenge against this decision in March, but the High Court ruled in April that our claim didn’t meet the threshold for a judicial review.

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Mr Justice Mould has now reversed that decision, giving permission on all four grounds for the High Court to hear our argument that the government’s decision to exclude onshore wind from its policy on energy infrastructure is unlawful. We’ll be bringing the case that there has been a failure to explain how excluding onshore wind is consistent with the UK’s legally-binding net zero targets. 

“Onshore wind is vital if we are to solve the climate crisis and bring down energy bills,” said Bekah Sparrow, legal manager at Good Law Project. “However, rather than use this cheap and effective source of energy as part of the drive to get the UK to net zero, the government ignored its advisers and gave the go-ahead for more oil and gas drilling in the North Sea.”

“Ministers must listen to experts and finally unlock the true potential of onshore wind by putting it at the heart of the incoming government’s renewable energy policy.”

When we polled our supporters, more than 6,000 of them agreed that the government should be boosting onshore wind instead of blocking it. Our supporters have a clear message for the next government: prioritise renewable energy.

Onshore wind power – one of the cheapest and cleanest forms of renewable energy generation – must be put back on the map. We won’t give up the fight.