People all over the world are bringing legal actions to hold governments and corporates to account for the climate crisis. As part of this gathering, global movement Plan B has been taking the UK government to court, to compel it to act on its commitment to the Paris Agreement.
- Young People v UK Government – Safeguard Our Lives and Our Families! The Government knows there is a climate emergency. It knows there is an unprecedented threat to the lives of current and future generations, with young people and the Global South on the frontline. It knows recovery from COVID-19 presents a one-off opportunity to avert disaster. But it has failed to produce a plan to reduce the UK’s emissions in line with its legal obligations. It has failed to prepare for the crises to come. And it has failed to control the City of London’s role as a world-leading financier and profiteer of destruction. The Government’s complicity is a breach of the social contract and a violation of its legal duties to our planet, our generation and our communities (including the right to life and the right to family life, the Paris Agreement and the international law duty to prevent harm). For further information see here.
- Plan B v Heathrow Expansion: On 27 February 2020, the Court of Appeal upheld Plan B’s claim that the Government’s planned expansion of Heathrow Airport was unlawful, because the Government had failed to take account of its own policy commitment to the Paris Temperature, setting a “game-changing” precedent of global application. The Government is not appealing. The appeal of Heathrow Airport Limited, the company that would benefit commercially from the expansion, will be heard by the Supreme Court on 7-8 October 2020. For further information, see here.
- Plan B & 11 Citizens vs UK 2050 Carbon Target: In December 2017, Plan B and and 11 UK citizens (aged 9 to 79) commenced proceedings against the UK Government for failing to set a safe climate target for 2050. In January 2018, the Committee on Climate Change recommended a review of the target leading to the introduction of a net zero target for 2050 in June 2019. The Court declined us a full hearing on the case. For further information, see here.