“[This] is … an essential initiative that should inspire similar action in other parts of the world. Just like the UK, governments around the world have implicitly abandoned their domestic and international climate obligations in their COVID-19 stimulus responses.”

Ikechukwu Uzoma, Aryeh Neier Fellow at the Open Society Justice Initiative

As scientists, economists and people around the world all recognise, we cannot go back to how things were before.

The Government can either follow the scientific and economic advice and take a decisive step towards a cleaner, fairer and more sustainable economy, creating a vast number of new jobs; or it can ignore that advice by prioritising its corporate sponsors and locking us into the path to climate breakdown and a future that is grim beyond words.

It seems that Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings are set on choosing the second option. By squandering billions and billons of pounds of public money to prop up fossil fuel corporations, while failing to provide the necessary finance to transition to a clean and sustainable economy, the Government is breaching:

  1. The “net zero” target in the Climate Change Act,
  2. Its own policy commitment to the Paris Agreement temperature limit of 1.5 ̊C and “well below” 2 ̊C, and
  3. The rights to life, the right to family live, and the prohibition on discrimination in the exercise of those rights, under the Human Rights Act.

With literally everything at stake we cannot allow that to happen and will challenge this treasonous betrayal of the electorate through the courts.

Case correspondence and materials

7 July letter, warning of legal action

21 July, Pre-action protocol letter

7 August, Gov response re polluter bailouts

10 August, Gov response re funding for fossil fuel project in Mozambique

Press coverage

Press release, 21 July

Legal action threatened over Boris Johnson’s ‘unlawful’ green recovery plans, Guardian, 7 July

UK premier faces court over Covid-19 recovery, Climate News Network, 10 July

Campaigners launch legal challenge against UK’s green recovery plans, Guardian, 21 July

Climate Campaigners Launch Legal Challenge to ‘Catastrophic’ Government Recovery Package, Desmog, 22 July

Legal threat escalates over government’s ‘reckless’ company bailouts, Business Green, 13 August

UK: Paris climate treaty has no domestic effect, Climate News Network, 14 August