Climate campaigners win Heathrow expansion case

Posted: February 27, 2020 by oldbrew in climate, government, Legal, News, Travel

Climate paranoia has hit the UK courts big-time. It now seems illegal not to obsess over trace gases in the atmosphere, due to the Paris climate agreement.

Heathrow Airport’s controversial plans to build a third runway have been thrown into doubt after a court ruling, reports BBC News.

The government’s Heathrow’s expansion decision was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account, the Court of Appeal said.

Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the government has not lodged an appeal.

The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK’s climate policy.

The case was brought by environmental groups, councils and the Mayor of London.

The Court of Appeal found that the government had not followed UK policy when backing the controversial expansion plans.

It said that the government had a duty to take into account the Paris climate agreement, which seeks to limit global warming.

It was “legally fatal” to the government’s Heathrow expansion policy that it did not take those climate commitments into account, the judges said.

Full report here.

  1. tallbloke says:

    The judiciary will attempt to scupper Brexit Britain’s prospects by any means at its disposal.

  2. oldbrew says:

    Boris Johnson is warned that failing to expand Heathrow means ‘no global Britain’ and would make Charles de Gaulle airport in PARIS the main air route into the UK after Brexit
    26 February 2020
    – – –
    What was that about the PARIS agreement ? 🙄

  3. Phoenix44 says:

    An absurd delay. All the government had to say was “we’ve considered Paris and the expansion is fine.” But for want of that, expansion gets delayed by a year or more, and probably never happens because of that.

    What a way to run a country.

  4. ivan says:

    Maybe it is time ‘we the people’ took the climate and environmental mob to court to prove what their claims are with actual real scientific evidence. That might shut them up for a while.

  5. ScottR says:

    What would happen to this judgement if Boris did a Donald and withdrew from the COP Paris Agreement? Would the Courts try to bind us to something from which we had withdrawn?

    However, I know it’s cloud cuckoo land. The chance of Boris and his government making to truly controversial decision On this topic is vanishingly small, I suspect.

  6. Tim Spence says:

    Just build a new airport behind the new London Gateway port and have done with it. Infilling facilities into overcrowded areas is futile.

  7. Gamecock says:

    “What a way to run a country.”

    Running the country like DMV.

    ‘Climate campaigners win Heathrow expansion case’

    Leaving one to wonder how climate campaigners will fly on their junkets?

  8. Adam Gallon says:

    Well, well. The Government’s climate promises are coming back to haunt them. Reckoned they could sign up to the Paris agreement, then kick the can a few decades down the road.

  9. oldbrew says:

    Bulldozer brought to PM’s constituency for Johnson to fulfil his Heathrow vow
    November 26 2019

    Boris Johnson has been given the chance to make good on his word and lay in front of a bulldozer in opposition to the Heathrow expansion.
    . . .
    As mayor of London in 2015, Mr Johnson vowed to “lie down in front of those bulldozers” rather than see the airport expand.
    Heathrow said it would challenge the decision, but the government said it would not appeal.

    The judges said that in future, a third runway could go ahead, as long as it fits with the UK’s climate policy.

    Harrabin (BBC): Environmentalists see today as the day the reality of climate change finally dawned.

  10. oldbrew says:

    The Department for Transport has just released its official statement on the Heathrow decision.

  11. Gamecock says:

    Dammit, Johnson! Close Heathrow TODAY!

    Resisting expansion is easy. Closing it takes guts.

    I think you Brits should start a campaign of insisting implementation of Net Zero today. Start talks of banning petrol today. No more coal/gas electricity generation – today. No more ICE car sales. Park all lorries.

    Choke the government on their idiocy.

  12. phil salmon says:

    Britain’s economic ecosuicide continues.
    Extinction rebellion is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    With the economic collapse resulting from green policies on energy and transport, London City Airport will soon suffice for all London’s shrunken eco-depression aviation needs. So Heathrow is already irrelevant.

    Britain’s economy now can be compared to someone driving an electric car in sub-zero temperature at full speed in the overtaking lane of a smart motorway.

  13. oldbrew says:

    The government’s Heathrow’s expansion decision was unlawful because it did not take climate commitments into account, the Court of Appeal said.

    What’s this then? ‘Climate change’ appears 60 times in the document…

    Department for Transport
    Airports National Policy Statement: new runway capacity and infrastructure at airports in the South East of England

    Presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 9(8) of the Planning Act 2008
    June 2018

    3.7 The Government agrees with the Airports Commission’s assessment that a new runway is deliverable within the UK’s climate change obligations.

    Click to access airports-nps-new-runway-capacity-and-infrastructure-at-airports-in-the-south-east-of-england-web-version.pdf

    – – –
    Court: ‘The National Planning Statement was not produced as the law requires.’
    Govt. doc: ‘Presented to Parliament pursuant to Section 9(8) of the Planning Act 2008.’

  14. Phoenix44 says:

    Oldbrew, the judgement is very narrow and very technical. The Appeals Court ruled that the NPS had to take account of “government policy” and that policy is not just legislation (in this case the Climate Change Act) but also “stated policy – in this case the government had said its policy was to adhere to the Paris Agreement. Because the NPS did not say the government had considered Paris in coming to its decision, the NPS is therefore unlawful.

    It’s a government mess from beginning to end – the original drafting that the NPS must take account of government policy (all policies?) and then the advice to Grayling that he didn’t need to take account of policy (Paris) in the NPS.

    But why the court made the NPS illegal is a mystery. The expansion would have to meet Paris and anything else to get planning consent, so why strike out the NPS and make everyone start again? Heathrow has spent £500m on this, has promised residents their houses will be bought, has put together teams of people. All wasted now, because of a very technical view of a totally moot point, given planning requirements.

  15. A C Osborn says:

    The same ruling can now be applied to any project, Roads, Buildings, Factories & new Gas fired Electricity Generation.
    The judges can also quote Net Zero as another “comittment”.
    The UK can effectively be brought to an advancement standstill, unless the Government changes the laws.

  16. oldbrew says:

    BBC’s Harrabin is now waffling about particulates, trying to link industrial pollution to climate as usual.

    Road schemes may face Heathrow-style court action
    By Roger Harrabin
    BBC environment analyst
    9 hours ago

    [Critics] also warn about the environmental impact of the mining and manufacturing needed to make battery cars, and of the unavoidable particulate pollution generated by tyres and brakes.

    Everything’s wrong, so just give up and shut down modern society, according to climate obsessives. Can’t travel, eat meat, use fuel, mine minerals, burn anything etc. etc. But it’s OK to fly to climate conferences and stay in centrally-heated hotels.

  17. oldbrew says:

    ‘On fire’ – so what’s the woolly hat for?
    Central England Temperatures (this month only)

  18. oldbrew says:

    Phoenix 44 – having looked at the court ruling, I see what you mean.

    The relevant part is item 12(4):

    whether the Secretary of State breached the SEA Directive by failing to consider
    the Paris Agreement.

    Click to access Heathrow-judgment-on-planning-issues-27-February-2020.pdf

    – – –
    Which begs the question: what would satisfy the court as ‘considering’ the Paris Agreement?

  19. Gamecock says:

    “Which begs the question: what would satisfy the court as ‘considering’ the Paris Agreement?”

    One imagines attorney for the government approaching the bench, and telling the judge, “Let me see that.”

    Judge hands him the document.

    Attorney pulls out a pen, and writes on the last page of the document:

    “We considered the Paris Agreement.”

    And hands it back to the judge.

    My son told me of a DMV experience a couple of years ago, trying to transfer the title of his pickup truck. The DMV clerk handed back the old title, rejecting his attempt, saying the mileage wasn’t written on it. He said he knew the mileage, and could fill that in. “No. NEXT!”

    He had to leave and come back, to wait another hour in line.

  20. oldbrew says:

    ‘A fundamentally wrong turn’…

    Para. 276 refers to a ‘basic defect’:
    We are unable to accept the suggestion that the terms of section 31(2A) are satisfied in this case. We find it impossible to conclude that it is “highly likely” that the ANPS would not
    have been “substantially different” if the Secretary of State had gone about his task in
    accordance with law. In particular, in our view, it was a basic defect in the decision-making
    process that the Secretary of State expressly decided not to take into account the Paris
    Agreement at all. That was a fundamentally wrong turn in the whole process.

    See also the Conclusion, paras. 281-285.

    Click to access Heathrow-judgment-on-planning-issues-27-February-2020.pdf

  21. […] IS it reasonable that the Maldives can build 4 new airports while the U.K., being approximately 800 times larger than the Maldives, has been banned by Law (Extinction Rebellion) from building a simple extension of Heathrow Airport? […]

  22. oldbrew says:

    The judges said the process was wrong, not the runway decision itself – meaning they took no position on that.