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Case update 13 October 2022

NEW: Government accepts its flagship climate strategy is unlawful

The Government will not pursue an appeal against the High Court ruling in our case.

We are pleased to announce that the Government has confirmed in a letter to the Court and the parties involved in our case with Friends of the Earth and ClientEarth that it will not pursue an appeal against the High Court ruling that its Net Zero strategy is unlawful.

In a landmark victory in July, the High Court agreed with us that the Government’s strategy failed to show how the UK’s legally binding carbon budgets will be met.

Responding to the news, Jo Maugham, Director of Good Law Project said:

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“So the Government has been forced to accept that its flagship climate strategy is unlawful. Another embarrassing climbdown.

“Rather than threatening communities with fracking, Liz Truss and Jacob-Rees Mogg should focus their efforts on improving the strategy so they meet the UK’s legally-binding climate targets and move away from expensive fossil fuels to deliver on affordable energy.

Good Law Project is thrilled to have worked alongside our friends at ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth to deliver this landmark victory.”

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 emergency and the myriad crises we face…

“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.

“Since then, the Government has announced plans for fracking, new gas and oil developments and more roads which will make it even harder to make its sums add up. 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 real solutions to the myriad crises we face: developing the UK’s immense renewable energy potential and insulating people’s homes.

Senior lawyer at ClientEarth, Sam Hunter Jones said:

“Now that the Government has confirmed it won’t be appealing, its efforts must now be directed at publishing a revised Net Zero Strategy that complies with July’s landmark Judgment.

“This new strategy is also an opportunity for the Government to address the spiralling cost of living crisis at the same time as making the required emissions savings. This can be done through a number of measures including a rapid roll-out of home insulation across the country and a swift transition to renewable energy.”

Good Law Project only exists thanks to donations from people across the UK. If you’re in a position to support our work, you can do so here.

You can find out more about our Net Zero victory here.