Plan B can now publish the Government’s response to our pre-action letter, written together with three young co-claimants, concerning its failure to take practical and effective measures in response to the climate crisis.

The Government has denied it is responsible for a “treasonous betrayal” of this country’s young people and the Global South. More surprisingly it claims that the Climate Change Act provides a “road-map” to net zero:

“There is no missing strategy. The Climate Change Act 2008 as amended (“CCA 2008”) provides the “road map” to net zero.”

More surprising still it does not accept that the “circumstances of climate change affecting the UK are sufficient to engage positive obligations under Article 2 [the right to life] or Article 8 [the right to family life] of the European Convention on Human Rights”. That despite the fact that the Government has itself acknowledged the climate and ecological crisis as an emergency and existential threat.

It also denies that the Prime Minister is responsible for Government strategy on climate change, even though last October the Government stated:

“The PM-chaired Climate Action Strategy Committee (CAS) determines the UK’s overarching climate strategy, both domestically and internationally.”

Tim Crosland, Director of Plan B, who is currently under investigation by the Attorney General for breaching the court embargo on the Heathrow judgement, said:

“Since the US election, Boris Johnson has doubled down on his rhetoric of “UK climate leadership”. But this letter reveals the grim reality. The Government doesn’t know who’s in charge of climate strategy – whether it’s Boris Johnson or BEIS. It mistakes the Climate Change Act for a “road map” to net zero. And it’s doesn’t acknowledge the legal obligation to take practical and effective measures to safeguard our right to life. We cannot accept this abject failure of leadership. It’s a betrayal of the Government’s most basic responsibilities to this country, to our young people and to the wider international community, in this year of COP26. Our next step will be to file our claim with the court.”

You can read the letter in full here:

Government response to Young people & Plan B letter