Sadly, the Court of Appeal has rejected our appeal to have our case heard on the 2050 Target. That’s now the end of the road for the appeal process. The court’s analysis is cursory:
Given what’s at stake (ie the future) it’s deeply disappointing the courts have has not had the courage to engage with the arguments in a more meaningful way, nor to hear our evidence, which is so compelling.
Nevertheless, there’s no doubt the legal action has made an impact. Within a month of commencing legal proceedings, the Climate Change Committee had recommended a review of the 2050 carbon target in light of the Paris Agreement, which is what we had been urging, and the Government announced announced a review in April 2018. That review is now well underway, and it’s vital that the Committee recommends a bold and ambitious target, that reflects the science and the climate emergency that we’re facing. We’ll be watching the outcome closely.
While we did not get the legal outcome we were looking for, there’s been a major change in the public and media conversation in the UK over the last year. With the backing of leading scientists, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, a mass movement of people, Extinction Rebellion, is rising up to demand that the Government is honest about the crisis we’re facing and that it takes the necessary action to safeguard our future. Local governments around the country (including the Mayor of London) are acknowledging and facing up to the climate emergency. There are a number of factors in this (including, of course, the IPCC SR1.5 report) but the spotlight of legal action has been part of the story.
We must keep up the momentum!