UK Net Zero Strategy “Inadequate and Unlawful” Rules High Court

The High Court has ruled in favour of a legal challenge against the UK government’s strategy to reach net zero by 2050 led by environmental law firm ClientEarth, non-profit the Good Law Project and environmental campaign group Friends of the Earth. The Climate Change Act requires the government to hit net zero by 2050, making proposals on how it will meet that target and placing a report before Parliament. The High Court’s judgement held that the Secretary of State-approved proposals for achieving net zero were “too vague” to assure the court the statutory requirements would be met. It also ruled that the report “lacked the specificity” to meet the Secretary of State’s duty to inform Parliament and the public of their climate action plans. The court has ruled within the next eight months the government’s net zero strategy must be reworked with necessary detail before being re-published. Katie de Kauwe, a solicitor for Friends of the Earth, said: “This landmark ruling is a huge victory for climate justice and government transparency. It shows that the Climate Change Act is a piece of legislation which has teeth, and can, if necessary, be enforced through our court system if the government does not comply with its legal duties.” 

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