The case brought by environmental activists will be heard by the High Court in London

Demonstrators take part in the demonstration by climate campaign group Extinction Rebellion near Leicester Square in London, Britain on August 23, 2021. (Photo by Tim Ireland/Xinhua)

On Wednesday, environmental campaigners launched legal action against Britain, alleging the government’s ‘pie-in-the-sky’ climate plan was ‘inadequate’ to deliver promised deep emissions cuts.

Two environmental lobby groups, ClientEarth and Friends of the Earth, have announced that they have launched separate legal proceedings in the High Court in London against the administration of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The UK government, which is seeking to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 to help tackle climate change, insists it has set out detailed steps to facilitate the transition to a low-carbon economy.

In October 2021, the UK government presented a number of plans to put the UK on track to meet its climate targets. The financing of green cars, the end of gas boilers and the planting of trees are some of the main announcements.

Friends of the Earth, however, filed for judicial review challenging the plans, arguing they are illegal.

“With characteristic sleight of hand, the government has set out an imaginary path to reduce carbon emissions, but no credible plan to get there,” Friends of the Earth lawyer Katie de Kauwe said in a statement. communicated.

“A quick and fair transition to a more secure future requires a plan that shows how much greenhouse gas reduction the chosen policies will achieve, and by when.” we believe it is illegal.”

ClientEarth argued that the government’s “pie-in-the-sky” plan lacked credible strategies to adequately reduce emissions and was likely to take more drastic action later.

“It’s not enough for the UK government to simply have a net zero strategy, it must include real-world policies that ensure its success,” said ClientEarth lawyer Sam Hunter Jones.

In response, the government said it presented proposals to cut emissions in October, including a ban on new diesel and petrol cars by 2030.

He also cited plans to decarbonize power generation and make all new heating systems low-carbon by 2035.

“The UK has reduced emissions faster than any other G7 country in recent decades,” said a spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

“The net zero strategy sets out specific and detailed steps we will take to transition to a low-carbon economy.”

The High Court in London will later decide whether or not to allow a full hearing of the two cases.


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